Article at a glance
  • Older adults may find it more challenging to maintain a healthy diet due to changes in their bodies and lifestyle.

  • A healthy diet can help you live longer, become stronger, have a sharper mind, and feel better overall.

  • 5 major food groups make up a healthy diet: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.

  • The amount of calories you should consume per day depends on your age, gender, and level of physical activity.

  • Many types of diets exist, but some are more beneficial than others. Learn the drawbacks and benefits before deciding which one to follow. Read more about ikaria lean belly juice.

Good nutrition is essential, no matter how old you are. However, it’s still difficult for many people to follow a healthy diet. In fact, the average American consumes more than twice the recommended daily amount of sodium and sugar, so it’s no surprise that in the US a poor diet is considered one of the strongest risk factors for diseases that can contribute to death. Fortunately, being aware of the issue is the first step in living a healthier life. It’s important to remember that you’re in control of what you eat and what you choose to avoid. This is how prima works.

Healthy diet overview

Eating a healthy diet helps your body get the fuel it needs to do its job. But eating healthily doesn’t always look the same for everyone. Specific dietary recommendations depend on your age, gender, and physical activity level. Compared to younger adults, older people tend to have lower calorie needs, but nutrient needs remain the same or are even greater. This can be due to decreased physical activity, slower metabolism, and age-related bone and muscle loss. As you get older, the changes in your body and lifestyle can also affect your access to nutritious food. These can include:

  • living alone

  • having trouble getting around

  • losing income, which may decrease your food budget

  • problems with chewing, swallowing or feeding yourself

  • taking medicines that can make your mouth dry, alter your appetite, or change how food tastes

  • losing your sense of taste and smell

  • changes in hormones that can affect how fast you feel full

Despite these issues, it’s still possible to keep a healthy diet — and it starts with knowing what it is and why it matters.

Benefits of a healthy diet

A healthy diet is important for your body to function properly, and it’s never too late to start. A nutritious diet can help you:

  • Become stronger: a proper diet supports your muscles, strengthens your bones, and helps you achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

  • Live longer: eating the right types of food can boost your immunity, and lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.

  • Have a sharper mind: essential fatty acids found in certain types of food may help improve your focus and enhance memory.

  • Feel better: the right kind of food keeps your skin, teeth, and eyes healthy, and healthy eating in general can boost your energy

Knowing your food groups

Nutrient-dense foods are particularly important for older adults since small amounts can go a long way. There are five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.


Fruits can be consumed in their natural state or as 100% fruit juice. They can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and can be served whole, cut, sliced, diced, or cubed. At least half of your fruit consumption should come from whole fruits, and when choosing canned forms, make sure to opt for the ones with the least amount of added sugars. Likewise, 100% fruit juice shouldn’t contain added sugars and can be also diluted with water. Nutrient-dense fruits include plain bananas, apples, and oranges.


Similar to fruits, vegetables take on many forms like fresh, frozen, canned or dried, and can be served cooked or raw, or even juiced (as in 100% vegetable juice). Nutrient-dense vegetables are those with little to no added salt, butter, or creamy sauces. There are four subgroups of vegetables, including:

  • dark green: broccoli, bok choy, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce

  • red and orange: carrots, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes

  • starchy: corn, jicama, plantains, yam, water chestnuts

  • others: asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, beets, okra, Brussel sprouts, celery, cucumber, onions


There are two types: whole grains and refined grains. At least half of the grains you consume should be whole, and if you’re eating refined grains, opt for ones that are enriched with nutrients like folic acid. Whole grains include brown rice, barley, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, and wheat bread, while refined grains include white bread, pasta, white rice, and corn grits. Nutrient-dense grains are those with little to no added sugars, saturated fat, or salt.


Protein can come from both animal and plant sources. There are four major subgroups, including:

  • meat, poultry, eggs: beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb

  • seafood: sea bass, cod, salmon, tuna, oysters, crab, shrimp, squid

  • nuts, seeds, soy: peanuts, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, tofu, tempeh

  • beans, peas, lentils: black beans, chickpeas, edamame, mung beans

When choosing meats and poultry, opt for ones that are lean or low in fat, and avoid processed forms like hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon meats as much as possible.

John is a writer and technical guru for Intelligent Biometric Controls, Inc. that is constantly tinkering between cooking amazing lunches and explaining access control to anyone that will listen.

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John is a writer and technical guru for Intelligent Biometric Controls, Inc. that is constantly tinkering between cooking amazing lunches and explaining access control to anyone that will listen.