New older adult nutrition guidelines released

If you want a simple way to understand how much and what you should be eating, these new nutritional guidelines

If you want a simple way to understand how much and what you should be eating, these new nutritional guidelines may help you.

Developed in the US for seniors, the MyPlate initiative has an emphasis on meeting older adults’ nutritional needs.

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“It is never too late to make smart changes in your diet. Shifting towards healthier food choices can improve symptoms or decrease risk for developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease – all of which are more common in older than younger adults,” said Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., senior scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory.

The ‘MyPlate for Older Adults’ image shows a colourful plate with images to encourage older people to follow a healthy eating pattern combined with physical activity. The new recommendations are a daily diet of:

50 per cent fruits and vegetables;

25 per cent grains, many of which are whole grains; and

25 per cent protein-rich foods such as nuts, beans, fish, lean meat, poultry, and fat-free and low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheeses, and yoghurts

The plate also includes a recommendation to drink water, milk, tea, soup, and coffee; include heart-healthy fats such as vegetable oils and soft margarines, as well as herbs and spices to be used in place of salt to lower sodium intake.

The MyPlate for Older Adults also reminds over 60s that eating well needs to be paired with exercise. The new guidelines hopefully will slash diabetes and heart disease rates.

We don’t ave these particular guidelines in Australia, however the US version is recommended by doctors, making it safe to try at home under the guidance of your regular GP.

Tell us, would you adhere to these guidelines? Do you eat a balanced diet?

  1. Joy Anne Bourke  

    No I don’t, but I only eat fruit, salads, either cooked meat or cold meat also Toasted Cheese Sandwiches. I cannot eat more then 1 meal a day and then in between fruit, water melon.

  2. I don’t follow any strict diet, i have a healthy diet with some not so healthy goodies mixed in for good measure, you only live once, everything in moderation 🙂🍫🍉🍕🍐🍧🍓

  3. Paul  

    Sound all well and good…however given the ‘poor’ state of our pensions, it is very difficult to put much food on the table, let alone worrying about whether one has the right mix/% of fruit, vegies, meat etc. And unfortunately i find that most fresh fruit and vegies do not last more than a couple of days in the fridge before they turn nasty. Making it even harder to make the pension dollar stretch. And going to markets for fresh food is not always that easy to find or access.

    • bit hard to manage to get fresh fruit and vege for daily use..I agree with Paul..the supermarket things are off withing 2 days..and to get to a fresh food market…and then there is the cost of transport as doing our best is the best we can do!

  4. Kaye Paris  

    The guidelines are incorrect. Margarines and vegetable oils is too general for healthy fats. Olive Oil, Avocado oil Coconut oil, macadamia oil are healthy fats but sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, margarine etc are not Some grains are healthy some are not. There is not nearly enough information in the guidelines and some information is very misleading

    • Christine Best  

      I agree with you about the oils.I am back to using butter,coconut oil, olive oil.Off wheat & grains.Following the “Wheat Belly ” philosophy.

    • Myra Sorensen  

      I’m inclined to agree with you, Kaye.

  5. Healthy diet – lots of fresh fruit and veg, fish and chicken . No meat now and no dairy. But treats when I need them😃

  6. Mary  

    I don’t heed the advice of anyone who recommends margarine.

    Apart from that , they could be on the right track.

    My bowel can’t handle grains and high fibre foods so they’re out but I eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.

    I agree about trying to keep fruit and vegetables in the fridge. Though expensive, using frozen mashed potato means I am not discarding or planting all those fresh potatoes that rot or shoot in the pantry. Frozen peas and spinach are good standbys too.

    I think we need small cool rooms as well as fridges in our climate.

  7. It is poor form to give advice in a generalised form like this.
    A lifetime of eating and drinking should inform us of how our individual bodies respond to different foods. There are many research papers that are not popular with major food processors from which we can find good indicators.
    As someone mentioned previously – anyone reccommending margarine cannot be trusted. There is is a lot of information out there; too much to put here. But this article is not one to follow.

    • Nick Pearce  

      I would agree the recommendations in the article are American which is still promoting a high carbohydrate diet combined with low fat products.
      Recent Australian press has reported that the diabetes Australia has now realized the dangers of high intakes of carbohydrates , particularly for type 2 diabetes
      They are now moving to a lower carbohydrate diet combined with higher intakes of good fat.
      People need to do their own research to explore the benefits such a dietary change

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