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HEALTHY EATING FOR HEALTHY AGING

by Chelsea Couch, Texercise program coordinator, Texas Health and Human Services


It's always a great time to learn about older adults’ changing nutritional needs and the eating habits that are so important to healthy aging.


The Texas Health and Human Services Texercise initiative has a variety of free resources that engage older Texans in healthy lifestyle behaviors, including physical activity and eating habits.


Nutrients are compounds in food that are vital to living. They help the body heal, regulate chemical process and provide the body with energy. We lose the ability to absorb nutrients as we age because our metabolism slows. As a result, nutrient recommendations will change.


Experts recommend that older adults get more calcium, potassium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and fortified foods can help you get the recommended amounts of these nutrients. If you have trouble getting enough of these nutrients through the foods you eat, you can talk with your doctor about supplements.

Healthy eating is not only about the foods you eat but also habits like controlling portions, reading nutrition labels, substituting for healthier options and other practices. The United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate provides nutrition information and recommendations for all ages. To learn more, myplate.gov.


Texercise is proud to announce the launch of Texercise Nourish, a free 12-week nutrition education program for older Texans. Nourish educates on and engages older adults in healthy eating behaviors for healthy aging. To learn more about Texercise Nourish as well as other Texercise resources (fact sheets, daily food log, etc.), visit texercise.com.


Other Texas HHS nutrition services and resources include:

• The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program assists people with buying the food they need for good health. To learn more about SNAP, how to apply and how to purchase food online, visit yourtexasbenefits.com.

• Area Agencies on Aging provide older adults, their families and caregivers with nutrition services, like home and congregate meals. To connect with the nearest AAA and learn about available nutrition services, call Texas HHS at 800-252-9240.

• Aging and Disability Resource Centers are part of the No Wrong Door System and help streamline access to long-term services and support for the whole family. To learn more about the full range of available long-term supports, call Texas HHS at 855-937-2372

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