As you age, your calorie requirements decrease, but you still need the same amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals. That means that calorie for calorie, you need to make sure your foods are packed with nutrients and not empty calories.
Take a balanced eating approach by eating foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, low-fat milk products and healthy fats.
Dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend that a person eating 2,000 calories a day should have:
- 2 - 2½ cups of fruit
- 2 - 2½ cups of vegetables
- 7 - 8 ounces of grain foods, half of them whole grains
- 5½ ounces of protein
- 2 - 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, or other milk products
- No more than 6 teaspoons of oil
Remember to adjust these amounts depending on your daily calorie level.
For more information on eating well as you get older, visit Nutrition for Seniors by Medline Plus.