Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, it doesn’t matter what I eat now – I’m just too old ….” But, this isn’t true and I hope I can convince you that it’s never too late for good nutrition!
More than 1,000,000 people in Georgia are 65 and older. People who are 65 years of age now can expect to live on average at least another 15 years. And more people than ever before are living into their 80s, 90s and even 100s. So this leaves plenty of time to reap the benefits of good nutrition.
Research has shown that healthy eating has many benefits, even for older people. For example, eating enough calcium and vitamin D helps prevent falling and breaking a bone. Eating less salt and sodium helps lower blood pressure and often lessens the need for medications to control high blood pressure. Having fish a few times a week helps prevent heart disease.
Diabetes is a serious disease that occurs in more than one of four older people in Georgia. But making healthy food choices along with regular exercise helps prevent diabetes, as well as some of the health problems in people who already have diabetes. Many older people can also benefit from “watching their calories” to help prevent excess weight gain. Obesity among the aged can lead to diabetes and difficulty walking, and increases the risk of being admitted to a nursing home.
I hope you are ready to eat healthier right now! Here are some websites and local places to help you get started with your new healthy eating plan:
Athens Community Council on Aging, phone 706-549-4850, offers classes and workshops on healthy eating, chronic disease self-management, and staying physically active, and has outreach in surrounding counties. www.accaging.org/, www.facebook.com/ACCAging.
Live Well Age Well is a website developed by the Department of Foods and Nutrition, UGA, and the Georgia Division of Aging Services. It is for older people, their friends, families, and caregivers, and includes information about healthy eating, dietary supplements, and physical activity.
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