Saturday, January 11, 2014

Nutrition for Our Age

Photo by Frank Kehren.
As a gerontologist and a person in her 50s, I try to read as much as possible about diet and nutrition. I have a strong belief in the power of healthy eating. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

Yes, there are sometimes valid reasons for taking supplements or even prescription medication. But pills often exact a high price in adverse side effects.
Consult with your physician about what kind of exercise program and eating program is right for you, especially if you have medical issues. Never cease taking prescribed supplements or medications without first talking with your physician.  
Many chronic health problems can be prevented or at least delayed by a healthy diet (in combination with adequate exercise, smoking cessation, stress management, and restricted alcohol consumption).

Healthy Food Is a Powerful Prescription

In my quest to stay informed about diet and nutrition, I found a wealth of information provided by the National Institutes for Health.  For example, I considered taking calcium supplements for my osteopenia. But before doing so, I first read a very detailed report published by NIH in the fall of 2013.  Admittedly, the information was very dense and took me some time to read and comprehend.

Since reading that report on calcium supplements, I have discovered a NEW series of pages that are so much easier to read and navigate.  And these pages are tailored to the nutritional needs of people 50 plus.

National Institutes of Health Shares Great Info!
The "What's on Your Plate?" section of NIH publications represent current information about healthy eating, backed by quality research. The information is easy-to-read and very comprehensive.

"What's on Your Plate?" helps me learn more about menu planning, shopping, and food safety.  There are a lot of information-rich charts and graphics that complement the written explanations.  Each page offers a chance to print, email, or share on social media.  I can invite family members and friends to make healthy choices, too.

Why Bother? 

Simple changes to your diet can pay great dividends. This 2009 report from the CDC presents statistics on the power that lifestyle choices have in the prevention of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, arthritis and other chronic diseases.

The CDC (The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that lifestyle choices can prevent

  • 80% of heart disease and stroke
  • 80% of type 2 diabetes, and
  • 40% of cancers
How are such dramatic results possible?  By adopting a healthy diet, by getting adequate exercise, by smoking cessation, by stress management, and by curbing alcohol consumption.

Related:

Calcium and Bone Health
Polypharmacy
Does an Aspirin a Day Keep the Cardiologist Away?




2 comments:

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  2. The link to What's On Your Plate? is great. Thanks!

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