Eating Well As You Get Older

Frequently Asked Questions

4. Why is it important to eat nutrient-dense foods?

Nutrient-dense foods provide vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important to health, with relatively few calories. As people age, their calorie requirements decrease, but their need for nutrients remains the same, and may even increase. So it’s important to choose foods and beverages that give you the most nutrients for the calories you consume.

At the same time, it's important to limit "empty calories" -- foods and drinks that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Eating too many foods with “empty calories” leaves less room for eating nutrient-dense foods. Overconsuming “empty calories” not only reduces the overall nutritional value of your diet, it can also cause you to eat more calories than you need and lead to weight gain.