Over 40’s Nutritional Tips

101 nutrition

We are now older kids and need to be more reasonable with what our bodies consume. This doesn’t means that you should now sit back, relax and get fatter. Hell no! It’s just a matter of recognising that your body now starts to function a little different that it once used too. The recovery is a little slow and now foods we used to enjoy eating have a different effect in regards being utilised as fuel. That means the plate “full” of pasta we once enjoyed is not going to simply burn itself off as easily as it used too, unless you start making changes in both how much you eat and the quality of food.

Still don’t fret, you still got time and remember you are still in the best years of your life!

If you are like me a little older and care about how you feel, look and function, looking at ways of maintaining your current condition or just getting back into it. You should already have worked it out that there isn’t an easy way to go about it and achieve your weight management or fitness goals. We all know that it takes a disciplined and committed approach in getting you results. The same goes with your nutrition.

My aim here is to guide you through this often over confusing subject of carbs, protein, Good/bad fats etc….. Let’s give it a shot.

Eat carbohydrates

All that time ago when you were young I’m sure your mum might have told you there’s no such thing as too many vegetables. She was right! And I’m talking about the type that comes out of the ground here like it used to.  Not the type that’s has been canned for months in some storage facility ready to export it out to our plates and still legally passes off as a vegetable – well only just.  Generally carbs are either complex ( bread and pasta) or simple (fruit and veggies). These are broken down further; however well keep it simple here. The following lists both types.

Embrace and enjoy the carbs. Just manage your portion as with all other nutrients.

  • Eat whole foods – whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, and plenty of vegetables.
  • Eat four to five servings of vegetables daily, including dark greens, leafy and root vegetables such as watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach (they worked for Popeye), green beans or peppers, either raw or lightly cooked.
  • Eat three or more servings a day of fresh fruit, preferable apples, pears oranges, plumbs and berries.
  • Eat four or more servings a day of whole grains such as (brown) rice, rye, oat flakes and oat cakes, corn, quinoa (the latest superfood) cereals, breads pasta and potatoes.
  • Avoid any form of sugar, added sugar, and white or refined foods.
  • Dilute fruit juices and only eat dried fruit infrequently in small quantities.(high in sugar)

Include protein in every meal 

Proteins are naturally occurring compounds that are used for growth and repair in the body and to build cells and tissue. Protein is one of the most important components of the diet and when you eat a high-protein diet, you’re generally less hungry. Eat less junk and include protein in you eating plan and you will lose weight as a result. It’s difficult to eat too much protein, although you could easily not be getting enough. Eat it with every meal. A basic approach to servings will go a long way in making you feel full while getting the quality of nutrients the body needs to get the most out of it.

  • Eat two servings of beans , lentils , quinoa , tofu ( soya) seed vegetables or other vegetable protein, or one small serving of mat , fish or cheese or a free range egg , every day.
  • Reduce your intake of dairy products and avoid them altogether if you are allergic, substituting soya oat or rice milk.
  • Reduce other sources of animal protein ,choosing lean meat or wild or organic fish and eating no more than three servings a week of meat and three fish
  • Eat organic whenever possible , to minimise your exposure to toxic and hormone – disrupting chemicals.

Consume good fats

Although most of us know that eating some fat is essential to a healthy diet, it’s all too easy to make a mental connection between eating fat and getting fat, so you end up skipping it. Trouble is that usually means eating something that’s worse for you…say sugar.

Saturated fats is a form of fat found in animal fat products such as cheese, cream, butter ,lard and fatty meats as well as in certain vegetables products such as coconut oil, palm oil and chocolate. There’s also the issue of saturated fat, which is blamed as a cause of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Recent opinion suggests, however, that saturated fat actually raises ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels while making ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol l benign. After all, we have evolved to eat saturated fats, and they play key roles in the body, so it seems strange that only in the last 50 years have they become bad for us.

Tran’s fats  are unsaturated fats that are uncommon in nature and created artificially. This type of fat is found in processed foods like cereal, baked goods, fast foods, ice cream and frozen dinners. Anything that contains “partially hydrogenated oil” contains trans-fat.

Unsaturated fats ( the good ones) is a form of fat found in foods like avocado ,nuts and vegetables oils, such as canola and olive oils . Meat products contain both saturated and unsaturated fats.The naturally-occurring fats found in oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil and coconut oil provide the body with essential fatty acids. These are used for key functions such as metabolism and hormone synthesis, which are critical to your ability to burn fat. The fats you should worry about are the man-made, hydrogenated variety found in processed foods and junk food, as research links them to a variety of illnesses and health issues, including heart disease and obesity.

  • Eat seeds and nuts the best seeds are flax, hemp, pumpkin sunflower and sesame. You get more goodness out of them by grinding them first and sprinkling them on cereal soup and salads.
  • Eat oily fish – a serving of anchovies, sardines, maceral or salmon two or three times  week provides a good source of Omega 3 fats
  • Use seed oils – choose cold pressed oil blends for salads dressing and other cold uses, such as drizzling on vegetables instead of butter.
  • Minimise you intake of fried foods, processed food and saturated fat from meat and dairy produce.

Remember, Eat real food 

This is the key. If you do this, you’ll end up following all the other rules almost by default. A simple rule of thumb is only eating food that you would consider “wholesome” and enjoy an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Let’s not forget to include water here. Simple rule to shop by, the centre of most supermarkets is literally packed with processed items that are easy passed on a real food.

For example the following are just a few options in regards to breakfast alone. Ditch the high sugar stuff and replace it with these.

  • All-bran
  • Natural Muesli and yogurt
  • Oat bran
  • Porridge
  • Rolled Oats
  • Sourdough Rye
  • Sourdough Wheat
  • Soya and Linseed
  • Special K

Your overall goal is to eat in a way that meets the follow criteria -Think both about calorie quantity and quality and you will go far in optimising you nutritional intake. With a little consistency and not over indulging the weight should come off.

The bottom line is to enjoy you food and limit the volume, eat good quality food and don’t overdo it. Simple.

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