If you are over 50, taking good care of your health is imperative so that you can continue to lead a healthy life. Aside from staying up to date on cancer screenings and vaccinations, exercise, avoiding smoking, consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, and consuming nutrient-rich foods are just a few other key ways you can lower your risk of chronic illness and premature death, experts say.
“Hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, diverticulosis, and osteoporosis are some of the health conditions that become more prominent after age 50,” says Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN. “Each of these diseases can have a hereditary component, but lifestyle [habits], including dietary choices, can also absolutely affect the development of diseases. “
On Rifkin’s point about osteoporosis, Sydney Greene, MS, RDN and a member of our Medical Advisory Committee said: “As you get older, you are at greater risk of fractures and strains, which is why you need more bone-supporting nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.”
Additionally, Greene adds that As we get older, we lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12, so additional supplementation may be needed. Vitamin B12 is not made by the body, so you need to get it either from a supplement or from animal foods. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to fatigue, palpitations, loss of appetite, weight loss, and infertility, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD and co-owner of Mohr Results adds that adults in general are at risk of not getting enough fiber, which can have a negative impact on overall health.
“Fiber is an unsung hero in the diet, but research shows that adults eat less than 50% of the recommended daily amount,” he says. “Fortunately, this is a simple solution that doesn’t involve fad, no food or anything like that.”
Well, here are four eating habits that experts recommend avoiding after age 50. Then you shouldn’t miss out on popular foods that increase visceral fat, says nutritionist.
Rifkin explains that many prepackaged and processed foods contain added sugar, salt, and even trans fats. All of these can contribute to the development of several chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
“Not all ready-made meals are bad, just plan to spend more time browsing the ingredient lists and avoiding the ones with salt, sugar, and hydrogenated oils (trans fats) on the ingredient list,” she says. “While you can maintain an overall healthy diet with some convenience items and occasional eating, it’s important to balance those products with healthier, less processed foods that are more likely to be nutritious.”
TIED TOGETHER: Sign up for our newsletter to get even more healthy tips straight to your inbox!
Research has shown that inadequate sleep can contribute to chronic inflammation, which can then cause health complications such as heart disease and diabetes. One way to ensure a good night’s sleep is to have dinner at least two to three hours before bed to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort before bed.
“Late night eating can lead to unwanted weight gain and gastrointestinal problems like gas, gas, constipation, or diarrhea,” says Greene. “Sleep is the body’s opportunity to rest and restore; it is not the time to digest food. Giving the body time to rest is key to supporting memory and mood. “
Now, take a look at the 40 Best and Worst Foods To Eat Before Bed So you know which foods to avoid before bed.
“As we get older, our thirst mechanism becomes less effective, which means we have fewer indicators of drinking fluids throughout the day,” says Rifkin.
She warns that people over 50 may be at risk of becoming dehydrated, which can lead to a number of side effects such as a drop in blood pressure, an increase in core temperature, and nausea or vomiting. If left untreated, dehydration can lead to more serious health problems such as kidney failure and seizures.
“Also, because we usually lose muscle as we age, we have less capacity to hold on to water, which further increases the likelihood of dehydration,” says Rifkin. “Make sure you drink frequently throughout the day, whether you are thirsty or not, and use your urine color as a measure of your hydration. Within a few hours of waking up, your urine should be lighter in color and eventually close to clear and stay that way for most of the day. “
Don’t Miss An Important Effect Of Drinking Ice Cold Water, Science Says!
Mohr turns the story around a little and recommends that you focus on the foods that you can add to your daily meals instead of focusing on which ones to remove from your diet. For example, he suggests adding more fiber-rich foods to your diet.
“Consider adding more fruits and vegetables [instead of] Highly processed foods, which currently make up about two-thirds of the diet of children, and likely similar proportions in the diet of adults, “he says.
High-fiber foods not only help you stay full throughout the day, but can also help with weight maintenance and weight loss, says Mohr.
“One of my favorite ways to get fiber is by adding California figs, which are an excellent source of fiber and are tasty, portable, and packed with nutrients,” he adds. “Only three to five figs – dried or fresh – provide 5 grams of fiber or 20% of the daily value.”
In general, Rifkin says increasing your fiber intake can help you improve your overall health.
“Lowering fiber intake can negatively affect digestion, weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol, so it’s important to keep an eye on fiber intake,” she says.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, she suggests adding more whole grains like brown rice, oats, whole grain bread, and legumes (think beans and lentils) to your weekly menu.
Check out more healthy tips next: