The bright and engaging Lauren Bock, a dietician from 100 Mile House, met with members of the Canim Lake Community Club to give diet tips for older people – not that any of us are “old” mind you, we’re just planning ahead for some distant future.
She noted it is important for seniors to attend to both physical activity and diet, which combine to maintain mental and physical health. On the diet side, she emphasized protein, salt and fruits and vegetables.
Seniors should have protein at every meal to keep muscles strong to help avoid falls, she said, adding a total of 75 grams per 150 pounds of body weight a day. There are many good choices for protein, such as milk, cheese, meat, fish, eggs, yogurt (especially the Greek yogurt) and beans, which should be included at each meal.
Lauren explained excess salt contributes to high blood pressure by changing the elasticity of blood vessels. High blood pressure is tough on seniors, and is correlated to dementia.
She cautioned that our taste buds cannot be relied upon to detect the true amount of salt, which can be very high in common processed foods, such as prepared cereals, bread, and processed meats, so check labels for information.
Adults shouldn’t be eating more than 1,300 milligrams of salt a day, which is the equivalent of half of a teaspoon.
Vegetables and fruit, whether fresh, cooked or preserved, are the “aces in the deck” of our diet, Lauren said. When eating to lower blood pressure, 11 servings a day are recommended, eight of vegetables and three of fruit.
The best approach is to eat foods that are in season, locally grown if possible, and then freezing, canning and preserving excess for the off-season. Colourful vegetables and whole grain breads are much preferred.
The good news is rainbow and lake trout are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot synthesize these compounds, but they are essential for our normal metabolism.
We have to eat them, so go fish.
This was an amazing presentation that people are still talking about in glowing terms.