Throughout your life, nutrient needs will vary due to your health concerns that are more prominent at various stages of life. People who are older than 50 have certain health issues that become more common, like heart disease, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and diverticulosis.
While genetic factors might influence each of these conditions, your lifestyle choices, including exercise and food choices, will go a long way in helping you protect against developing any number of various health issues, including those listed above. When it comes to your heart health in particular, there is a lot to be said about how your eating habits impacts the heart.
Here are three eating habits you should avoid for a healthier heart after 50.
1 — Limit sugar intake
Refined sugars, like that found in candy, soda, cereal, and other processed foods is thought to have a negative impact on health, from adding to inflammation and obesity to heart health and diabetes. In fact, an article released in Harvard Health Publishing notes that a diet that is high in sugar is associated with an increased risk of dying from heart disease.
The American Heart Association suggests women eat no more than 6 tsp of sugar each day, which is equivalent to around 100 calories, while males should keep their extra sugar intake to less than 9 tsp, or 150 calories, each day.
To lower your extra sugar intake, try trading white sugar for other zero-calorie options, like stevia and monk fruit, cut your portions of dessert foods in half, and trade soda for tea or unsweetened sparkling water.
2 — Avoid too much animal fat
While meat is an excellent source of protein and offers essential amino acids, minerals and vitamins, some animal proteins also contain high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat. Eating too much saturated fat could elevate LDL cholesterol levels, which might increase your chances for stroke and heart disease if LDL levels were to become too high.
To lower your intake of saturated fats, trade fattier cuts, like pork and beef, for leaner alternatives, like fish, poultry and low-fat dairy. Also, when you do have fattier cuts of meat, cut as much of the visible fat off as you can to lower your intake of cholesterol and saturated fat.
3 — Don’t skip fibrous foods
Fiber is a nutrient that is found in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, legumes and seeds. While you might often hear about fiber in relation to your digestive health, fiber is also known to help improve satiety and it might help reduce blood cholesterol levels as well.
In particular, soluble fiber, which can be found in oats, beans and berries is especially helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels by binding to the cholesterol-containing compounds in the intestine to lower the amount that is being absorbed into the bodies blood stream.