Eating Well As You Get Older

Frequently Asked Questions

2. What kinds of foods are the healthiest?

It's best to eat a mix of nutrient-dense foods every day. Nutrient-dense foods are foods that have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories. Choose foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. At the same time, try to avoid "empty calories" -- foods and drinks that are high in calories but provide few or no nutrients.

(Watch the video to learn more about the importance of nutrient dense foods. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)

Plan your meals and snacks to include

  • plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • plenty of grains, especially whole grains
  • low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • seafood, lean poultry, and meats, beans, eggs, and unsalted nuts
  • limited amounts of fats. Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats. Keep intake of trans fats as low as possible.
  • limited amounts of cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

To learn more about choosing healthy meals as you get older, see 10 Healthy Eating Tips for People 65+