Everywhere we turn these days we are bombarded with images of super-sized food, and miracle cures for obesity, joint pain, heart disease and liver failure. Unlike our parents who sloshed down butter, bacon, martinis, and cocktail sausages blissfully unaware of the damage that the excessive fat, nitrates, salt and alcohol were doing to their bodies, we are painfully aware of the consequences of our sins, and yet most of us still continue to indulge in our favourite treats and guilty pleasures, ignoring the fact that we are jeopardizing the quality of life that we will experience in the future.
We are the most technologically advanced society to ever walk the planet and we have easy access to more information regarding what constitutes “good health” than ever before and yet many of us are consuming some of the poorest quality food in the history of the world.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We are sensible people – we know that if you put leaded gas in a car that needs unleaded fuel that it will destroy the engine in short order; so why are we so reluctant to admit food that is high in trans-fat, sugar or salt is not doing us any good? Have we really become a generation that takes better care of their vehicles than they do of themselves?
We know that food is fuel and that the decisions we make about our diet affect our energy levels, mental acuteness, resistance to and disease, as well as our ability to recover from illness. It is frustrating to watch our bodies age and we have such great excuses for not doing anything about it: we have big bones, our mother was fat, we have bad knees, we can’t afford a gym membership, or we just don’t feel like it. It just does not seem fair to have finally reached the point in life where we can do what we want, only to discover that if we want to enjoy a long and productive life we can no longer eat any old thing we want. There are things we still want to do (and we will need good health and energy to accomplish them) but the idea of changing our ways at this stage of life just seems too onerous.
But it does not have to be this way. You can take control of your diet and eat your way to better health starting today and it does not have to be complicated. All you have to do is start reading labels. This is a very simple approach – if it containing ingredients that you cannot pronounce (and you have no idea what they are) don’t eat it. It is that simple. Instead, start eating as many things as possible that contain only one ingredient: pear, apple, celery, broccoli, fish … you get the idea.
And for even better results, talk to your doctor and start learning a little bit about nutrition and what it takes to maintain nutritional balance in an older body; because, let’s face it – those best informed regarding how to eat a healthy “age appropriate” diet are most likely to actually be in good enough health to do the things that they have always dreamed of doing. Those who ignore their diets now are dictating what the quality of their life is likely to be like later years. Which one do you want to be?
To read more about age appropriate nutrition for people over the age of fifty click here: http://www.helpguide.org/life/senior_nutrition.htm
To read more about the recommended diet for older Americans click here: https://olderhood.com/2013/06/05/whats-on-your-plate/