Pick up a package of food in the supermarket and you'll find the nutritional information. You can quickly see how much of your daily allotted intake of sodium a certain food is or whether an ingredient in your favorite recipe has a high percentage of a necessary vitamin. But those nutritional labels are general in nature. They're based on a 2,000-calorie diet for an average person.
Since we like to think that no resident of the Hickory Villa assisted living community is merely average, we take a more personal approach to nutrition. And you should too, since seniors in general have different nutritional needs than the general population and you, personally, probably have your own unique needs.
The USDA proposes three food patterns that can be used and modified to meet the nutritional needs of most adults in the country. The average healthy U.S.-style eating pattern includes vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins, dairy and oils in roughly the following daily volumes:
2.5 cups of veggies
2 cups of fruit
6 ounces of grains
5.5 ounces of protein split between fish, meat, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds
3 cups of dairy
27 grams of oils
The USDA also offers modified patterns for people who need fewer or more calories as well as those who would prefer (or who need) Mediterranean-style or vegetarian diets.
How many calories you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, activity level and weight. The USDA offers a resource called the Choose MyPlate Plan that helps you understand what types of foods and how much you might need to eat given some of these factors.
If it's USDA-approved, it must be the right way to go, right? Not exactly, and the USDA doesn't make specific recommendations for certain elements of a diet, such as how much liquid or salt you can take in. Always consult your medical provider to get the details on what your body, specifically, needs in the way of food and nutrition.
Getting your diet right can seem frustrating and complex, especially if you're managing a chronic condition. But the staff at Hickory Villa can help. Our wellness services include personal care plans and health assessments to help you understand how well you're managing different aspects of your health. And our lifestyle services include restaurant-style dining, daily from-scratch and Always Available menus and flexible dining times to make it easy for you to access the food you need to fuel your body.