As we age, we tend to eat less and less. However something that is totally unique to over 60s is that we should actually be eating more and more of one particular food group.
Based on the updated Dietary Guidelines announced in 2013, women over 50 need four serves of dairy a day, not three as previously thought, and men over 70 need three and a half serves of dairy every day. Dairy is the only food group where recommended daily consumption increases in correlation with ageing!
Milk, cheese and yogurt are some of the most important sources of calcium and protein, two things that are critical for staying active as they help maintain bones and muscle. But there is a big problem…
Not enough of us realise just how much we should be eating or how to get four serves of dairy into our diet every day. In fact, around 8 out of 10 Australians are not meeting their recommendations. But by taking out some of the junk food and making some small food swaps every day, you can make sure you’re getting the right nutrients and maximising your health benefits. To help you, here are some easy, simple and fast swaps that you can start including in your diet every single day!
- Swap high kilojoule, nutrient poor sweet treats such as muffins, banana bread or pastries with dense wholegrain toast topped with tomato, spinach and cheese
- Swap sugary cereal for a high-fibre muesli with yogurt, fruit and milk
- Enjoy a milk-based coffee like a latte or cappuccino that is filled with protein and essential calcium, instead of black tea or coffee
- When eating out choose wholegrain sandwich or roll filled with lean meat, cheese and fresh salad rather than meat pies or savoury pasties
- Instead of getting a sugar hit from a soft drink with lunch, choose a flavoured milk as it’s full of essential nutrients
- Rather than eating fried fish and oily chips for a quick dinner, choose grilled fish and salad with a natural yogurt dressing
- Before you throw your dinner into the microwave, consider how easy it is to BBQ a piece or two of lean meat and serve with steamed veggies – a good guide is to fill half the plate with vegetables. To jazz up veggies make a yummy white sauce using milk and cheese
- If you’re a risotto fan, replace a third of the stock with milk for a really creamy result and a calcium boost
- Replace nutrient-poor cakes or muffins with a tub of yogurt
- Pack a small container with cheese and crackers instead of sweet biscuits for a snack when you’re out and about
- Smoothies are an excellent way to get more milk, yogurt and fruit and can be perfect at any time of the day – make them at home or grab one to go
You see, getting enough dairy doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s as simple as swapping the junk foods out and the good foods in! Dairy is so important – especially as we get older so make sure you’re getting enough every day.
Were you aware that you should be eating 4 serves (women) and 3.5 serves (men) of dairy every day? Have you been getting enough in your diet?
This article has been sponsored by Dairy Australia who help people all over Australia to live a healthy lifestyle and have a healthy diet. It was written specifically for the Starts at 60 community by an independent Starts at 60 writer. To find out more about how much dairy you should be eating for a healthy diet, click here.