We all want to be able to age gracefully and live active, independent lives when we get older. Nutrition and aging are deeply related, but many of us aren’t sure how to start a healthy diet — some of us have been eating mostly processed foods for years.

On this segment of Just Ask David, we have special guest Anne Danahy here to speak with us about how to have a healthy diet as we age. Anne is a registered dietician and nutrition communications consultant, specializing in women’s health. Anne has also written dietary pieces for numerous health and nutrition publications.

Nutritional Needs for Middle-Aged Adults

Diet impacts how you age, not just in terms of health and disease, but also how you look and feel. There are foods and diet patterns out there that make us feel better — mentally and physically.

Nutritional requirements for middle-aged adults are a bit different from that of younger adults. Our metabolisms tend to slow down when we age, making it easier for us to gain weight. But instead of focusing on eating less overall, Anne suggests focusing on what you can eat more of — the foods that can speed up your metabolism — in an effort to crowd out the food that slow it down.

Healthy Diet Tips for Aging Gracefully

There are thousands of diets out there, but many of the ones that have gained popularity in recent years demand that you cut out certain foods completely, like keto, paleo, or vegan diets. Still, Anne says that most diets don’t work — lasting health comes from real, long-term life changes.

So what’s the best diet plan for older adults? What are the people who are aging gracefully eating? “They’re not necessarily vegetarian or vegan or anything like that, but just people who have a more balanced diet and include more fruits and vegetables and plants and whole grains and leave out the processed and fried food,” Anne says.

To stay up-to-date with what she’s doing, follow Anne’s blog, Craving Something Healthy, or follow her on Twitter @CraveSomeHealth.

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