People should avoid processed foods with empty calories regardless of their age. However, aging adults should be particularly cautious of their food choices due to their changing body needs and health conditions.
Empty calories foods such as baked goods, chips, soda, candies, and alcohol contain lots of calories but very few nutrients.
So, if you want to maintain good health and high energy levels as you age, you should limit empty calories foods that are high in saturated and trans-fat, sugars, preservatives, and sodium (salt).
In addition to processed food, aging adults should avoid:
- Raw poultry and undercooked meat. Such foods may contain illness-causing bacteria such Salmonella, Listeria, or Escherichia coli.
- Deli meats. Cold cuts are typically loaded with additives and salt, harmful for an aging adult’s health. Also, a diet based on processed meats can increase the risk of cancer.
- Unpasteurized milk. Raw milk can contain Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and other bacteria, which can cause food poisoning.
- Raw seafood. Raw fish, lobster, scallops, and other seafood can contain harmful bacteria and parasitic worms if not cooked thoroughly. If you love sushi, use only fish that has been frozen for at least four to five days to kill parasites.
- Caffeine. Coffee, tea, and soda contain caffeine which can increase your heartbeat or cause your heartbeat irregularly. It may also aggravate anxiety and insomnia, so make sure to avoid it.
- Baked goods. Baked bread, bagels, doughnuts, and other baked goods are loaded with carbohydrates. As a result, our bodies break into sugar, raising insulin levels and increasing inflammation in the body.