It’s no secret that with aging comes many changes to our bodies, including an increased risk of certain diseases which can result from the cumulative effect of years of lifestyle choices. As we age, one of the most important things we need to look at is our diet and how eating habits might be affecting our health.
It’s natural for our food preferences to change over time, often for the better. Still, as we age nutrition plays an increasingly important role in maintaining health and supporting healing. To get the most out a nutritionally supportive diet, we often need to eliminate certain foods entirely. Starting in our 50s and beyond, avoiding certain foods becomes even more important.
Top Foods to Avoid as You Age
As we age, we need less calories but more nutritionally dense foods in our diets. This means there are foods you may be eating that should be replaced with healthier options. Which foods should be avoided as you age? Here is a shortlist get you started.
You’ve been told to favor fresh fruits and vegetables over processed foods, especially for breakfast. It might seem strange that one of your favorite healthy breakfast foods makes it on to this list, but the grapefruit you love so much can interact with many common medications.
Certain medications for hypertension and anxiety, among others can interact with fresh grapefruit and grapefruit juice, causing serious and dangerous interactions. If your medication says to avoid taking with grapefruit, don’t take chances. If you’re not sure, then ask. Aren’t on any medication? Make sure to mention to your doctor that you regularly eat grapefruit when prescribed any new pharmaceutical.
Coffee and Other Foods or Beverages High in Caffeine
If you love a cup of coffee in the morning and don’t have any underlying health conditions, a cup of joe every day shouldn’t cause too much concern. However, if your habit involves several cups or you have a known heart condition, then it’s time to cut back.
In addition to amplifying certain heart conditions, as well as contributing to anxiety and sleep disturbances, caffeine can react with some medications.
Nitrates and Processed Meats
Hotdogs, bacon, lunch meats and other processed meat products that you love should go once you get older. In fact, these foods can be so damaging to your health that the sooner they’re given up, the better. Processed meats are high in sodium, not to mention saturated fats. The other issue with processed meats is that they contain nitrates, which have been shown to have a negative impact on health – including being linked to several forms of cancer.
Most people already know that fried foods aren’t exactly healthy. However, many also aren’t aware of just how unhealthy they are. Fried foods are calorically dense and packed with saturated fats, which can create a spiral of weight gain, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease – all of which happen more frequently with age.
Following a Healthy Diet Into Your Golden Years
Proper nutrition offers many protective health benefits. As you age, your dietary needs change. A registered dietician can help you create a nutritional plan that meets your individual needs. At Princeton Health Care Center we nutritional services to support your health and wellbeing. Contact Princeton Health Care Center and speak with a dietary consultant for seniors today.