So you are getting a little older. It beats the alternative.
You feel fine. You exercise. Your blood pressure and cholesterol are under control. You watch your diet – mostly.
In fact, most people don’t feel older even if they are. We are trained by culture to believe that advancing years makes you less fit to live well, and there’s plenty of scientific evidence that suggests that fear is false.
But that does not mean you can do everything at 60 that you could at 25. If nothing else, being a little older should make you smarter about what chemicals and foods you put in your body.
Older cars need more careful maintenance; older human bodies do, too.
For example, growing older means your metabolism is slowing down, which means you need fewer calories. That’s why you need to watch fat intake because fat, especially saturated fat, is heavy with calories. The changes this suggests don’t have to be profound, just thoughtfully consistent.
For example, if you love milk, drink the variety that is lighter in fat. Slow down red meats by eating more fish. Shift your balance. Don’t try to go all crazy with it.
As for processed food, read the labels. Even some “healthy” foods have added sugar, which will blow your calm metabolism to smithereens.
As Mayo Clinic researchers note, you lose muscle mass as you age but the fat hoards calories.
As for a standard answer to many issues, go ahead and indulge in fresh fruits because fruit fiber helps with digestion, which is the one physical process that does change with age. If you always liked berries, oranges, grapes, pears, now is the time to fill up on them.
Watermelon is perfect. Plus researchers all say that you should take in more liquids and urinate more often as you age. Watermelons are the cosmic answers to those issues.
Reintroduce yourself to fresh orange juice for breakfast because calcium-fortified juice gets you halfway to a daily goal of 1,200 milligrams a day. Keeps bones strong. For women who have passed menopause, it’s OK to cut down on iron, especially if you’ve been used to taking an iron-rich supplement. Younger women need 16 milligrams of iron a day, but old folks need only eight milligrams.
Our last column drew quite the response from diet-conscious. Many want to know about artificial chemicals added to foods. So we’ll approach that topic more in depth with coming blogs. If you have a specific question about additives, just email me.
Who am I, and why would a person listen to me? Both fair questions. I’m Christine Hammerlund and I’ve been a nurse for years. I have delivered babies, saved lives, and cared for hundreds of patients through their medical triumphs and tragedies. Now I run Assured Healthcare at http://www.assuredhealthcare.com. We're a multi-million dollar medical staff provider in Illinois. I live in Antioch, Ill. Got health questions for me, whether large or small? I’ll answer. Visit us at http://www.facebook.com/AssuredHealthcareStaffing and Chrishammerlund@yahoo.com