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Nutrition Guidelines for Aging Adults

No doubt by now you have seen the USDA’s  MyPlate that has taken the place of the food pyramid. Nutrition scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA’s Human Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have developed the MyPlate for Older Adults to call attention to the unique nutritional and physical needs associated with advancing years. According the Alice Lichtenstein, senior scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the USDA, “calorie needs  decline with age due a slowdown in metabolism and physical activity, but nutritional [needs] remains the same or in some cases increase.

The following foods and physical activities are encouraged by their new plate.

  • Bright colored vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.
  • Deep colored fruit such as berries and peaches.   
  • Whole, enriched and fortified grains and cereals such as brown rice and 100% whole wheat bread.
  • Low and non fat dairy products such yogurt and low lactose milk.
  • Dry beans, nuts, fish, poultry, lean meats and eggs.
  • Liquid vegetable oils, soft spreads low in saturated and trans fats, and spices to replace salt.
  • Fluids such as water and fat free milk.
  • Physical Activity such as walking, resistance training and light cleaning.

As is the case with the USDA’s MyPlate, half of the plate should be taken up by vegetables and fruit, a quarter by grains (especially whole grains) and the rest by lean, healthy protein.

For a more thorough explanation of the new Tufts My Plate for Older Adults, check out their website.

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