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Snack Your Way to Better Senior Health

Snacking happens! For many older adults snacking is a good idea, especially if the snacks are healthy ones. Keeping salt and sugar low, while boosting protein, vitamins, and minerals in snack choices can be a healthy way to bolster a diet and avoid overeating at mealtime. Here’s a list of foods that are good to eat and good for senior health rather than typical junk food snacks.

Hard-boiled eggs – Older adults can ramp up their protein intake with one simple food that’s as good as it is good for them — a hard-boiled egg. According to the healthyeating.sfgate.com blog, “What Are the Health Benefits of Hard-boiled Eggs?” hard-boiled eggs are great sources of protein, unsaturated fats, vitamins A (good for eyesight), and D (essential to healthy bones), and are only about 80 calories each. Hard-boiled eggs are also very filling so one will likely be enough to satisfy the urge to snack.

Veggies – Vegetables are good for everyone, and they are also great for nutritious and low-calorie snacking. Raw vegetables also retain all of the nutrients that can be lost in cooking, like vitamins B and C, which are water soluble. Of course different vegetables offer different nutrients, but according to the livestrong.com article, “Healthy Vegetables to Eat Raw,” some of the healthiest are Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, and snow peas. That’s not to say carrots, celery, peppers, and cucumbers don’t make great snacks too, and they are especially yummy when eaten with a dip that offers its own benefits, like those in the yummly.com article, “Healthy Dip for Raw Vegetables.”

Nuts – One of the most healthful snacks for older adults is nuts, which are literally jam packed with goodness. Although nuts are high in calories due to their high fat content, that fat is the unsaturated heart-healthy “good fat.” According to the mayoclinic.org article, “Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health,” eating nuts has other heart health benefits including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, plant sterols, and L-arginine (which keeps artery walls flexible). For a look at what different nuts have to offer, check out the nutritionandyou.com article, “Nuts nutrition facts.”

Dark chocolate – When craving something sweet, older adults should avoid processed foods like cookies and instead enjoy a few ounces of dark chocolate. Lower in sugar and fat than other kinds of chocolate, dark chocolate has more cocoa solids, which are where all the healthy ingredients are found. The Cleveland Clinic article, “Dark Chocolate Health Benefits,” notes these include flavanols for healthy blood flow, minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorus, fiber (Yes fiber!), and little to no dairy for those with lactose concerns.

Fresh and dried fruit – Another sweet treat is fruit, fresh or dried. Packed with vitamins, fiber, and minerals, fruit is also prepackaged by nature, portable, and comes in so many varieties it’s easy to find several to enjoy. Fresh fruit can be eaten whole, sliced, and spread with peanut butter, or added to oatmeal or yogurt, and dried fruit is excellent eaten alone or as an addition to trail mix and homemade granola bars. To find out which fruits pack the biggest punch, try the healthline.com article, “20 Healthy Fruits That Are Super Nutritious.”

Cottage cheese – An often-overlooked snack with a lot of nutrition but few calories is cottage cheese. Today cottage cheese is available with varying levels of fat, as well as low/no sodium and even lactose -free. Nutrition also varies with the levels of fat and sodium, but as a snack cottage cheese offers protein, carbohydrates (relative to the lactose content), vitamins B12 and B6, selenium, riboflavin, calcium, folate, choline, zinc, and copper. Most notable is the high protein content which dieters know helps shed weight and keep them feeling full. Find out all the great benefits of cottage cheese in the healthline.com article, “Why Cottage Cheese Is Super Healthy and Nutritious.”

Yogurt – One of the world’s oldest and most beloved snacks, in any of its many forms, is yogurt. Alone, or combined with fruit and/or nuts, yogurt from animal milk is a great source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12, and riboflavin. But many people eat it for the probiotic effects which may have health benefits. For those who prefer, plant-based yogurts are also available and may or may not be fortified with vitamins and minerals. Learn the whole story about yogurt in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health article, “Yogurt.”

At One Lincoln Park our residents enjoy healthy diets that complement their independent, active, and vibrant lives. Our community offers luxury independent living in Dayton, with a range of apartment choices, as well as excellent services and amenities.

See for yourself the many benefits of living at One Lincoln Park – schedule your visit today.

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