Our dietitians share their advice on how to eat well and help lower cholesterol levels as a senior
Working with senior clients each day, we asked dietitians Meg, Lauren and Emily for their best nutrition advice for senior people. Here’s what they said.
What are your top five suggestions for eating well as a senior person?
- Eat by the clock, not appetite – be sure to eat regularly and aim for three meals per day.
- Include protein foods at each meal.
- Prioritise hydration by filling a water bottle each morning, flavouring with fruit or cold tea infusions.
- Make use of healthy convenience meals and frozen fruit and vegetables.
- If appetite or weight changes occur, get a referral to see a dietitian for personalised diet or supplement advice.
- Aim for regular grocery shopping and planning so that there is nutritious food available in your home.
- Seek support with shopping or cooking if you struggle to do it on your own.
- Share a meal with friends and family regularly for social interaction and enjoyment.
- Keep some healthy snacks available like fruit, crackers, nuts and yoghurt.
- Include protein in all of your meals, such as eggs, chicken, fish or lean beef.
- Eat fruit and vegetables daily – eat the rainbow, as different coloured fruit and vegetables include different nutrients and antioxidants.
- Sip on fluids through the day, including water as the main choice.
- Include milk, yoghurt and cheese daily to support healthy bones and muscles.
- Frozen meals or tinned foods can be an easy and healthy alternative to cooking.
- Plan ahead – plan meals for the week and shop accordingly.
Some people ask dietitians for a low-cholesterol diet plan, but this doesn’t really exist. What dietitians can offer is expert advice on creating a diet that helps to lower cholesterol levels or to keep them low. Here are some excellent tips on how to do this.
What are your diet tips for lowering cholesterol?
Include healthy unsaturated and omega-3 fats, plant sterols, soluble fibre and healthy protein sources. Some examples include:
- Natural peanut butter, avocado, Flora ProActiv table spread.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Oily fish and seafood, such as salmon, sardines, tuna and mussels.
- Walnuts, Brazil nuts, pinenuts.
- Chia seeds, hempseeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and psyllium husk.
- Soybeans, four-bean mix, chickpeas, lentils, black beans and tofu.
- Dairy Farmers Heart Active Milk.
- Weet-Bix Cholesterol Lowering range, Carmen’s cholesterol Lowering oats.
- Small amounts of lean cuts of meat and poultry, or a small amounts of eggs.
Foods to avoid:
- Processed foods.
- Processed meats such as ham, bacon, Devon, salami, and sausages.
- Unhealthy baked goods, such as biscuits, cakes and pastries.
- If choosing to drink alcohol, drink in moderation and follow the guidelines.
- Reduce intake of saturated fats, such as processed and fried foods, biscuits, cakes, butter and fatty meats.
- Include more healthy unsaturated fats like salmon, avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
- Eat more fibre such as rolled oats, fruits, vegetables and wholegrains.
- Include oily fish at least three times per week, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Use canned fish for convenience!
- Enjoy foods that are high in fibre, particularly soluble fibre. These include fruit, vegetables, rolled oats and legumes, such as beans, lentils and chickpeas.
- Limit foods high in saturated fats such as processed meats and fried foods.
- Choose lean cuts of meat and trim the fat from them.
- Eat oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and tuna, 2-3 times per week.
- Small amounts of healthy unsaturated fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil.
To avoid fish that can increase your cholesterol, go for these choices recommended by our dietitians:
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