Eat Healthier Now

It's always a good time to make smart changes

Photo: A setting of colorful, nutrient-rich vegetables: tender-stem broccoli, Romanesco broccoli, green and red cabbages, radishes, edamame, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, fennel.

What it means to "eat healthy" changes a bit as we age. Use these guidelines to make sure you're eating well to stay well.

Eat this color every day
Consume a colorful variety of vegetables every day to get the vitamins and fiber your body needs. Make a special point of including leafy greens. Eating a daily serving of these vegetables is associated with slower cognitive decline. Spinach, collards, kale, and salad greens contain nutrients that a recent study shows help the brain stay younger.

Get more from each bite
Older bodies need fewer calories, so it's wise to get the most from those calories. Eat mostly foods that are dense with nutrients but low in calories, like vegetables, grains, fish, beans, nuts, and lowfat dairy.

Enjoy other flavors
Too much salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure. Choose products with "no salt added" or "reduced sodium." Instead of relying on salt, use spices and herbs, onions and garlic, lemon juice, and vinegars to flavor your meals.

EAT LESS OF THESE FOODS
Just as most foods have positive effects on your body, some cause inflammation that raises your risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. Are they in your daily diet?
Illustration: Soda cup with straw. Illustration: Cheeseburger. Illustration: Fast-food french fries. Illustration: Chocolate layer cake.
SUGAR PROCESSED
MEATS
TRANS FATS REFINED
CARBS
in sodas,
fruit drinks,
sweetened
coffee and
tea, energy
drinks
such as hot
dogs, cold 
cuts, bacon,
sausage,
corned beef
(partially
hydrogenated
oils) in
commercial
baked goods,
microwave
popcorn
in products
made with
refined white
flour, white
rice, snacks
This doesn't mean you can never eat these foods. If you really enjoy them, add them to your once-in-a-while list. Make eating healthy foods part of your daily lifestyle.