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EATING RIGHT: MYPLATE FOR AGES 50+

October 21, 2013

As we age, our caloric needs change due to more body fat, less lean muscle and less activity.  The challenge for typical folks over the age of 50 is to meet a unique set of dietary needs.  Tufts University researchers have now replaced the former Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults with the new MyPlate for Older Adults icon.

MyPlate for Older Adults contains updated guidelines for food, fluid and physical activity, and:
 

  • Emphasizes foods high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat, salt and sugar.
     

  • Includes recommended regular physical activities and fluid intake, components of particular concern for older adults.


Using a “plate” icon with an inset of physical activities, the following items are represented:
 

  • Brightly-colored vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.
     

  • Deeply-colored fruit, such as berries and peaches.
     

  • Whole, enriched and fortified grains and cereals such as brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread.
     

  • Low- and non-fat dairy products such as yogurt and low-lactose milk.
     

  • Liquid vegetable oils, soft spreads low in saturated and trans fat, and spices to replace salt.
     

  • Fluids such as water and fat-free milk.
     

  • Physical activity such as walking, resistance training and light cleaning.


Half of the MyPlate for Older Adults is represented by fruits and vegetables, in a variety of colors.  Prepackaged fruits and vegetables, in addition to fresh produce, are included as examples.  Types of foods, that for a number of reasons, may be more appropriate for older adults include:
 

  • Bags of frozen pre-cut vegetables that can be resealed
     

  • Single-serve portions of canned fruit


With an increase in elderly obesity rates, common activities such as errands and household chores are also depicted as a reminder that physical activity can be incorporated in a variety of ways.

As a part of our home care services, Aging Better In-Home Care assists seniors with selecting and preparing the best foods for their specific dietary requirements.  To learn more about our services or how we can help you or a loved one, contact us at 208-777-0308 if calling from the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls or Hayden area; if calling from the Sandpoint, Priest River, Bonners Ferry areas, call 208-263-7889; and if calling from Kellogg, Pinehurst, or Wallace areas, contact us at 208-784-1505.  If calling from outside the north Idaho area, please call our toll free number at 1-877-464-2344.

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