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Healthy Eating for Seniors

Posted July10, 2015

 

Eating a mix of healthy foods every day provides the nutrients, fiber, and calories your body needs. The amount you should eat depends on your age, whether you are a man or woman and your height and weight. It also depends on your level of physical activity. The more physically active you are, the more calories you might be able to eat without gaining weight. Most people in the United States eat more calories than they need.

Daily Calorie Levels for Women

A woman over age 50 should consume about

  • §  1,600 calories a day if her level of physical activity is low (only performs activities associated with typical day-to-day life)\
  • §  1,800 calories daily if she is moderately active (walks the equivalent of 1.5 to 3 miles a day at 3 to 4 miles per hour)
  • §  2,000 to 2,200 calories daily if she has an active lifestyle (walks the equivalent of more than 3 miles a day at 3 to 4 miles per hour). 

Daily Calorie Levels for Men

  • §  2,000 to 2,200 calories a day if his level of physical activity is low (only performs activities associated with typical day-to-day life)
  • §  2,200 to 2,400 calories daily if he is moderately active (walks the equivalent of 1.5 to 3 miles a day at 3 to 4 miles per hour)
  • §  2,400 to 2,800 calories daily if he has an active lifestyle (walks the equivalent of more than 3 miles a day at 3 to 4 miles per hour). 

 

As aging occurs, it is important to adjust your dietary intake, taking into account your level of activity. Getting the proper amount of fruits, grains, vegetables, dairy, protien and oils along with eating them in the correct portions can be directly related to your level of health and energy. Serving sizes when dining out often times include an entire days intake into one meal, so you should be familiar with what each portion size looks like. Learning to read labels and paying attention to nutrition content is also very important.  For more in depth information about nutritional requirements and portion sizes, visit the NIH Senior Health website.

Resource: NIHSeniorhealth,gov

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