I was born and raised on good, old-fashioned Southern cooking. Everything was batter-dipped, deep-fried, and delicious. Here it is, over fifty years later. Yes, Boomers, brace yourself—I have to write about healthy eating today. A healthy diet is important. In addition to boosting your immune system, it can also lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers (according to the CDC). Here are 5 healthy eating tips that work for me and might just work for you, too!
1. Try fruit for dessert.
Like any fan of Southern cooking, I love my pies and cobblers. And while occasionally indulging in sugary desserts is okay, eating them after every meal can catch up with you! Instead of reaching for a post-dinner cupcake, try an apple. I personally love berries, too! If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try a mango or a passionfruit. They taste good, and they’re great for your health, too!
2. Limit your soda intake.
Whether you call it pop or soda, this sugary drink isn’t good for your health. Did you know that soda contains no essential nutrients? As if that’s not bad enough, it can also damage your teeth and cause dehydration! Try drinking more water. If you find plain water too boring, buy some flavor packets. Or try out some healthy juices!
3. Eat more protein.
Did you know that once you hit 30, you start losing as much as 5 percent of muscle mass each decade? Yikes! This can be especially dangerous for older adults, as it may lead to less mobility and more overall weakness. The solution? Try to eat as many protein-rich foods as possible! Personally, I love baked salmon and tuna. Almonds are also a great source of protein. Of course, you can also buy protein powders, too!
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4. Try seasoning and other toppings instead of salad dressing.
A lot of people think that eating more salads means better health. However, that’s not always the case. Salad dressings can be full of fat and carbohydrates. Of course, there are low-fat salad dressing options, but allow me to present another alternative. Raw vegetables! Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and green peppers make for wonderful toppings. Nuts and bacon bits also add more flavor. And, for the final ingredient—lots and lots of delicious seasonings!
5. Use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter.
I don’t use lard, oil, butter, or shortening for cooking anymore. Instead, I use extra virgin olive oil or non-stick heart healthy olive oil pan spray. Extra virgin olive oil has many benefits in a healthy diet. As a matter of fact, studies show that regular intake of this oil may actually improve chronic inflammation and aid in the death of cancer cells. We Boomers may be set in our ways, but it’s never too late to adopt some healthy eating habits.
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Robert FowlerContributing Writer
Robert Fowler is a retired blogger who lives with his wife, Mary Ann at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert was previously the President of Retirement Media Inc. He has visited numerous 55+ Active Adult Communities over the years, sharing his experiences along the way with readers. View more posts