paid post – healthy eating for baby boomers
March is National Nutrition Month
When I turned 64 I decided to make significant life changes to benefit my long-term health. I made healthy eating my primary resolution. Following a healthy eating regimen has allowed me to lose 55 pounds, and I am well on my way to reaching my goal of an 80 pound loss. I feel much better than before, and am told I look younger and healthier. Which leads me to my next thought; I am excited to tell you about a fantastic article I’ve had the pleasure to read and pass on to you about this very subject (Healthy Eating for Baby Boomers). I hope that it educates and benefits you as much as it has me!
Healthy Eating for Baby Boomers
I am truly impressed at how Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans has developed such a detailed, comprehensive analysis of the best food choices for seniors needed to help maintain a healthy, happy, and productive life. It is all about healthy eating for Baby Boomers. When we are young we seemingly can eat almost any foods we want without consequences as long as we exercise regularly and stay active. Poor dietary habits are a negative at any stage of life of course, but as Anthem has emphasized, it becomes significantly more detrimental as we age if we maintain those bad habits.
Diane Smogor, who is a RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) and Certified Diabetes Educator with Anthem, has written a wonderful article called “Healthy Eating for Healthy Aging,” which provides a superlative dietary guide for seniors. As Ms. Smogor notes, “At Anthem, Inc., we work with the members of our affiliated Medicare health plans to help them establish healthy eating habits. By doing so, members can decrease their risk of developing some conditions many think are just part of being an older adult, such as weight gain, brittle bones, loss of muscle mass, heart disease, and strokes.”
Reducing Weight Gain
Fortunately there are solutions offered here! She states that in regards to reducing weight gain, “As we get older, it is much easier to gain weight. There is a decrease in your resting metabolic rate, which means you will need to eat fewer calories to maintain your weight. Choose foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to get maximum nutrition with minimum calories. Consider using an online food tracker or app to manage your calorie intake.”
Minimizing Bone Loss
Bone loss is of major concern to Baby Boomers, and as Ms. Smogor’s article states, “To maintain bone density, eat foods rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. For those with lactose intolerance, choose canned salmon or sardines with bones, broccoli, greens like collard greens, and kefir. Some foods are fortified with calcium such as orange juice, soy milk, almond milk and some breakfast cereals (check the label). Strive for at least 3 servings per day of calcium-rich foods or 1200 mg per day for women and 1000 mg per day for men.”
Calcium absorption for bone health is key. According to Ms. Smogor, “Vitamin D, essential for calcium absorption, is also a necessary nutrient for bone health. Vitamin D is converted in the skin to its usable form when exposed to sunlight and is found in a few foods such as fatty fish. Fatty fish is tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. The recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin D is 600 mg per day.”
Maintaining Muscle Mass
Ms. Smogor shares that staying physically active and eating “lean protein foods such as lean meat, low fat dairy, eggs, nut butters, and tofu helps maintain muscle mass.” She advises to, “Strive for 5 to 6 ounces per day.”
Reducing Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Ms. Smogor reiterates the need for physical activity and healthy eating for Baby Boomers. “To lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, be physically active and keep your blood pressure under control. Eat a diet rich in potassium, healthy fats, and fiber. Fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium and fiber. Include foods such as baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, broccoli, and cantaloupe. Choose foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which include salmon, sardines, walnuts, and flaxseed. Other healthy fats are found in foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds. Choose seeds like sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, and chia. Beneficial oils include olive, walnut, sesame, canola, sunflower, peanut, and safflower.”
The DASH Diet
She recommends following the ‘DASH‘ (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet as a crucial element of a comprehensive dietary plan. “Avoid adding salt to foods, choose foods lower in sodium, and reduce intake of processed and fast foods to help lower blood pressure.”
Finally, Ms. Smogor emphasizes that if you need help designing a healthy meal pattern, “contact a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for assistance. Many insurance plans, like the ones offered by Anthem, Inc.’s affiliated health plans, give members access to RDNs. You can also locate RDNs in your area by using the “Find an Expert” button on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website at
With these tools we can celebrate the fact that easy access to this invaluable dietary information is available to all of us!
Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans provided health and nutrition information that was used in this post.
Diane Smogor is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator with Anthem, Inc. and is certified in the State of Indiana. She specializes in diabetes and maternal health and provides nutrition and diabetes management services to Medicaid pregnant members as well as education and training of OB case management staff. Diane received a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and completed a dietetic internship at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. She was employed by a large teaching hospital in Indianapolis and worked closely with their endocrinology practice prior to her employment with Anthem. Diane has been employed by Anthem, Inc. since 2008.