You can control health risks and weight gain by taking more control over your eating habits. What you put into your body is a direct correlation to what your body looks like and how it performs. At each stage of your life there are various factors affecting your body that be should taken into account when developing your healthy eating habits. At each age range you can give your body the vitamins and nutrients it’s looking for to perform at an optimum level.
20s - Build Bone Density
In your 20s be sure to focus on foods that are rich in calcium to help build bone density. According to eatright.org, your 20s are your bone building stage, where your body is still allowing you to build density. In the years following this stage you will begin to lose the bone density you’re ‘banking’. Foods that help build bone density are as follows:
- Calcium enhanced Orange Juice
- Leafy Greens
- Canned Salmon
30s – Disease Prevention & Healthy Pregnancies
By the age of 30, most women are in the childbearing stage of life and healthy brain function for embryos depends heavily on high levels of folic acid so taking vitamins with Folic Acid is recommended. Other individuals should be focusing on consuming healthy fats to help prevent chronic diseases since this stage is the preventative stage. You can find healthy fats in:
- Olive and Canola oils
- Fish and omega 3 vitamins
40s – Fight Against the Aging Process
The aging process begins in your 40s. Fight back by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. An adult should have at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day to boost your antioxidant levels and fight diseases. Meal/Snack Ideas:
- Vegetable broth soups
- Salads with lots of greens
- Mixed berry smoothies
50s – Portion Control & Exercise
Menopause, fluctuating metabolism and Vitamin D deficiency are your vices in your 50s. Many women go through menopause in their 50s, causing violent mood swings and highly fluctuating diets and odd-hour snacking. To add insult to injury, metabolism typically slows substantially during this decade and thus weight gain ensues. Be sure to watch out for sporadic eating habits, if you experience weight gain, limit your calories and increase your exercise. Bone health also becomes a concern in this age range. Be sure to get at least 600 IU per day of Vitamin D.
60s – Maintain Muscle Mass with Protein
For the 60s and over, make sure you aren’t losing muscle mass by not consuming enough protein. 5 – 6 ounces of protein, which you can find in meats such as beef, chicken, fish, pork and lamb is recommended. You can also consume protein from foods such as eggs, beans, tofu, nuts, low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. Another important vitamin in this stage to stay on top of is B12 to keep your brain and nervous system healthy and strong.
Let Technology Help You
For the technology savvy, there are several tools such as cell phone applications to help you keep track of your diet and your goals for yourself. Some popular apps are:
- Calorie Counter:
- food log
- tracks exercise
- weight goals
- lists nutrition label info
- inspirational articles
- healthy recipes
- Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal
It is very easy to get bombarded with health tips, diets and opinions on what you should eat. By educating yourself you can make sense of what you consume and decide the results you want from your body. One of the most fundamental healthy eating tips you can practice is balancing your meals. In General, fruits and vegetables should makeup at least half of your lunch and dinner plate. Eat low-fat dairy and whole grains. What you choose to eat affects your body at every age.
Check out our infographic illustrating each stage!