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Creating a well balanced diet for seniors

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Tips you acquire for good nutrition and healthy eating is something that can be applied throughout life. The basic need for a balanced diet remains the same, despite the change in nutritional needs as one ages. However, as you grow older, the risk for diseases like heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes increases. You can reduce that risk by eating healthy.

If you feel lethargic and tired all the time, chances are your body may not be getting the right amounts of nutrients. As you age, your body will require less calories. The challenge is to create a diet that does not have too many calories, but still supply you with the nutrients you need.

This can be done by choosing foods like whole grain products, fruits and vegetables as they are low in fat but high in fibre. Low fat dairy products and proteins like fish, meat, poultry, beans and eggs are needed in moderate amounts. High sugar, fat, and calorie-rich foods should only be eaten sparingly.
Here is a table to help you figure out appropriate portion / serving sizes for various types of food:

Milk, yoghurt, cheese

One cup (250ml) of milk or yoghurt

40g of natural cheese

55g of processed cheese


One slice of bread

Half a bagel / burger bun

40g of cereal

Half cup (125g) cooked pasta or rice

Five to six small crackers

Meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts

30 - 85g cooked lean meat, poultry or fish

30g meat equivalent

Half cup (125g) cooked beans

One egg or two egg whites

Two tablespoons of peanut butter

A third of a cup of nuts (75g)

Fruit and Vegetable

One cup (250grams) of raw leafy vegetable

Half a cup of fresh fruit (125g)

Three-quarters of a cup of fruit juice (190ml)

Now that you know what a nutritional diet consists of, try making up your own. Try to plan your meals in advance, and stock up on cereals and instant oatmeal for a quick and easy breakfast. Fill the fridge with ready-to-eat food and cook stews or soups in larger quantities, so you can portion them for reheating later.

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