“A little of what you like, does you good” – Is that Healthy Senior Living?
There are many articles about healthy eating for seniors. Healthy eating is very important for healthy senior living. Most people know that we are affected by what we eat. So, we had better eat carefully.
Does healthy senior living include eating what we enjoy? Do we need to feel guilty about that? Here are some thoughts about healthy eating and enjoying what we eat.
The Importance of Enjoying Your Food
People enjoy eating good food. It gives many people a spurt of happiness.
Does it have a place in healthy senior living?
Seniors have to take that much more care with their diet, refining it more, planning it more carefully.
And what if a senior enjoys an occasional shot of whiskey? Indulges in a plate of fries? Pampers themselves with a spicy, traditional dish?
Please note that any ideas contained in this article that suggest indulging in a treat, is ONLY if your medical plan and doctor okay it. Please note also, that this article is not intended to be medical advice. We are discussing thoughts and opinions about food.
The following opinions reflect indulgent attitudes:
Enjoying good food is part of healthy eating.
By enjoying what you eat sometimes, you won’t feel a need to binge or make constant unhealthy food choices.
A person should enjoy their food. They should take an interest in the food they eat.
This will give a person an appetite. It is more important to eat not-so-perfectly, than not to eat enough. When a person is interested in what they eat, they will eventually come to make good food choices.
If you are happy with what you eat, that happiness will glow into other parts of your day (adapted from an inspiring comment). Happiness is as important to your health as healthy food.
Is it an excuse for indulgence?
Malnutrition includes insufficient nutrition as well as overeating. It is a common problem in the senior population.
For seniors, not eating correctly is a problem which can show in how well a senior functions. There are many effects on the quality of life, and problematic medical conditions can develop.
These opinions reflect non-indulgent attitudes:
Seniors could ask themselves, “What do I need this indulgence for? I would rather do without the treat, and live without the stomach ache, the heartache or the headache!”
“We ate what we were given and never complained”, meets with “We ate what was in season and made do with what there was in the house”. A study found that attitudes towards food and eating from a person’s youth usually remain unchanged well into their senior years.
Meals should be breakfast, lunch and dinner, with no snacks in between. Coffee breaks are for social gatherings only. Eating the main meals should be a quiet, personal activity.
Healthy Answers to Indulging in What You Enjoy
There maybe more, but here are some solutions. We can find harmony and compatibility between the two different types of opinions:
- Wise people have said, “If you can’t have what you like, learn to like what you have in life”. For what we eat it can be true as well, “If you can’t eat what you enjoy, learn to enjoy what you can eat.
- You may indulge in a little bit of the thing you enjoy – assuming that that small amount won’t endanger your health and is permitted on your medical plan. Instead of saying no, you can learn to have a little bit, and then have the self-control to stop.
- Medical plan permitting, if and when you are able to indulge, add gratitude into the process. Appreciating how fortunate you are to be able to enjoy this treat, adds to the pleasure and enjoyment.
- The 80%-20% approach. Bethenny Frankel once said that a person’s diet is like a bank account. Investments are made up of careful food choices. In that case, if your account is in the plus, say 80% of your diet is super healthy, then you could sometimes indulge in a treat of 20% of your diet.
Conclusions about Healthy Senior Living
We presented some opinions about attitudes to food and healthy senior living.
Is your opinion about healthy senior living reflected here?
Let us know!
In any case, as we have said in other articles, healthy senior living is not about any one particular part of living. It is made up of our choices in so many different areas.
As to feeling guilty, there is no need.
A senior can always excel in one area of healthy senior living. They should be proud of their choices in healthy senior living and shine in the area that they are good at. In the other areas of healthy senior living, a senior should do their best. They should hear the health-related messages of the doctor and other medical persons, who only mean it for the good!
Photo by Merve Aydın on Unsplash