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Definitive Guide to Eating Well in Your Fifties and Sixties

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For many people, turning 50 is a significant and exciting milestone.


It's also a moment when our bodies, as well as our nutritional requirements, begin to alter.


You can boost your chances of healthy ageing and continue to live a vibrant, active lifestyle by keeping a balanced eating pattern that prioritises important nutrients.


This article offers a comprehensive guide to eating well in your 50s and 60s.



The Definitive Guide to Eating Well in Your Fifties and Sixties



What does it mean to age well?


While ageing is unavoidable and normal, there are steps you may take to promote healthy ageing. This effort's major purpose is to increase the amount of healthy, active years you have left.


You can often maintain a fairly active lifestyle well into your late adult years.


A variety of factors influence healthy ageing:



diet


physical activity, medical history, and health conditions (including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and mental decline)

genetics

social assistance

cigarette smoking and substance abuse

access to high-quality medical attention

Nutrition, in particular, is important for good ageing because it lowers the risk of chronic disease, age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), weakened bones (such as osteoporosis), malnutrition, and being underweight or overweight.





Foods and nutrients to concentrate on



It's critical to consume enough of certain crucial nutrients on a daily basis in your 50s and 60s.



Protein


Protein helps build and maintain lean muscle mass, which is essential for an active lifestyle, a healthy metabolism, and a robust immune system.


Foods high in protein include:


- eggs

- nuts and seeds tempeh beans and lentils

- items made from milk


While the current RDA for protein is 0.36 grammes per pound (0.8 grams per kilogramme) of body weight, most studies suggest that persons over the age of 50 require more.




Fiber


Fiber helps maintain a healthy weight by promoting good bowel movements and digestion, supporting heart health, slowing sugar absorption to balance blood sugar levels, and promoting healthy bowel movements and digestion.



Foods high in fibre include:


beans and lentils nuts and seeds vegetables fruit entire grains such as oats, brown rice, popcorn, and barley beans and lentils

For women and males, the RDA for fibre is 25 and 38 grammes per day, respectively.


The majority of people can receive adequate fibre from their diet alone. A fibre supplement, such as Metamucil, may be recommended by your doctor.



To maintain muscle mass and support an active lifestyle, you may need as little as 0.5–0.9 grammes per pound (1.2–2.0 grammes per kg). A 150-pound (68-kg) person, for example, would require 75–135 grammes of protein per day.



The majority of people can receive adequate protein from their diet alone. If you're having trouble getting enough protein or need a quick fix, try protein powder or a supplement like Ensure or Boost.




Calcium



Calcium is necessary for bone health, neuron function, and the contraction of the heart and muscles. Calcium supplementation may assist to avoid bone diseases including osteopenia and osteoporosis.



Calcium-rich foods include:


except for spinach-fortified beverages such as soy and almond milks, dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt leafy greens

Because postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis and don't absorb calcium as well as other populations, they require an average of 1,200 mg of calcium per day, whereas other populations require approximately 1,000 mg.


Calcium is best obtained through diet, however it can also be found in several multivitamins.


If your doctor advises a calcium supplement, split the dose to enhance absorption — for example, instead of taking one 1,000-mg supplement, take two 500-mg pills at various times.




Vitamin D is an important nutrient.



Vitamin D is necessary for bone and immune system function. Mental decline, frailty, poor heart health, depression, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer are all linked to low levels.


Because our bodies can create vitamin D from sunlight, it is often known as the "sunshine vitamin." However, excessive sun exposure can be harmful, so get this vitamin mostly from supplements or foods like dairy, mushrooms, egg yolks, and fatty fish.


Because food supplies of vitamin D are limited, it's usually advised to take a 600 IU or higher vitamin D supplement after the age of 50. Higher doses may be recommended by your doctor based on your individual needs and geographic region.




Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids


Omega-3 fatty acid-rich diets have been linked to a lower risk of mental decline and neurological diseases including Alzheimer's and dementia, as well as better brain, heart, and skin health.



Omega-3 fats can be found in a variety of foods, including:


seafood that is high in fat (including salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, and herring)

Oils from nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed oil)

algae

Keep in mind that the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are related to the biggest health advantages, are mostly found in fatty fish and algae.



Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is an omega-3 found in nuts, seeds, and oils that your body turns into EPA and DHA in modest levels.


For women and males, the RDA for ALA is 1.1 and 1.6 grammes per day, respectively. Although a daily intake of 250–500 mg combined EPA and DHA is a reasonable goal, there is no overall suggested intake for EPA and DHA.


If you don't consume fatty fish 2–3 times a week, talk to your doctor about taking an omega-3 supplement made from fish or algae.


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