The best diet for over 60 is not the same as it was in your 20s, 30s, or even 40s.
There’s no denying that your body, your hormones, and nutritional needs change as you age. And that there are foods you should avoid after 50, so it’s essential to be mindful of what – and how much – you eat for optimal health especially during your later years.
As with any other age group, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
As obvious as it may seem, it’s not always the easiest to achieve. The most important thing is that you maintain a healthy lifestyle overall.
In addition to these lifestyle factors, there are some dietary considerations that can be helpful in maintaining good health as you age.
That’s why we want to share general nutrition guidelines for older adults on what the best diet for over 60 includes and how to stay on track.
How Aging Impacts Your Protein Intake
We hope that reaching 60 means more of everything wonderful in your life — more fulfilling experiences, more passion, and more purpose. And the best diet for those over 60 should also include more protein.
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet for all ages, but it becomes more important as you age. It provides the body with amino acids that are used to build and maintain muscle mass, which deteriorates naturally over time.
Eating enough protein can help slow this process down and keep your muscles strong so you can continue to maintain independence.
According to a recent study, older adults who ate the most protein were 30% less likely to lose functionality and independence than those who ate the least amount.
But what are the daily protein requirements for 50, 60, and 70-year-old men and women? The amount of protein you should consume is not an exact science and, of course, you should consult with your doctor or a nutritionist.
Caveat aside, evidence suggests that older adults should increase protein intake for standard optimal consumption – and here are the daily protein nutrition guidelines for older adults categorized by age and sex:
Another caveat: seniors with chronic illnesses may require different amounts of protein. As always, consult with your physician to determine your specific needs.
And if you’re wondering how to get more quality protein (not just in the form of protein shakes), here are some of the best protein sources for seniors:
Vitamins and Minerals Over 60
A healthy body depends on the nutrients it gets from various sources, including vitamins and minerals. Even though you need minute doses (in micrograms), they are essential for normal functioning.
Vitamins and minerals are like the tiny superheroes of our bodies, performing hundreds of roles. They heal wounds, shore up bones for strength, bolster your immune system, and repair cells.
Many older adults are at risk of malnutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. To sustain the best, healthy diet over 60 you need to ensure that you’re eating a variety of wholefoods that provide the necessary nutrients.
Here are the vitamin and mineral nutrition guidelines for older adults in their 50s and 60s to help you stay on track:
Eat Your Way to a Healthy Retirement
Too often we hear that retirement is a time to relax and take it easy. But many older adults take this too literally and get stuck in an unhealthy, sedentary, and ultimately, dissatisfying routine.
Contrary to the leisurely lifestyle that stereotypes older adults, being active and eating healthy in retirement has never been more important.
And remember that it’s not about counting every calorie and macro- or micro-nutrient. It’s about improving the overall quality of the food you consume.
It’s all about living a holistically healthy retirement lifestyle.
Here’s to embracing a healthy, active retirement lifestyle and shifting our culture to do the same.
For more insights on nutrition for older adults, check out our comprehensive guide.