Healthy living after 60 has tried to find the best diet for seniors. It is no easy task. Eliminate the word best and it gets a little easier.
Try counting the diets listed on Pinterest. It’s as bad as a bookstore, and the hundreds of titles relating to diets.
Wikipedia has a list of diets. It includes seven major categories of diets with the last being ‘other.’ That category alone has more than forty specific diets.
The Desire Of HealthyLivingAfter60.com Is To Weed Through The Thousands Of Options And Come Up With The Best Choices For Those Over 60 Who Want To Be Healthy.
Healthy can include losing weight, but not everybody over 60 is concerned with weight. Even if they should.
So we set out to find answers.
There Are Four Categories Of Diet
First: Fad Diets
They are not in the best interest of most seniors. Usually such diets are targeted to rapid weight loss. Often there are pills and supplements to take. Others encourage starvation and, or detoxification.
The point of most fad plans is to get slim for the beach, vacation, or a pending social event. Rarely is that the need of seniors. To look nice is wonderful, but with a fad diet, it’s not long term.
The fads are risky for the younger set. They can be dangerous to seniors. Especially when other health challenges exist.
Second: Gimmick Diets.
That’s not to suggest they don’t work. It only implies it’s not for long term healthy living. It may get you to a goal but staying there, not so much.
Examples include a pyramid. There are base foods and the pyramid rises with fewer options at each level. If I understand the theory, the lower the food is on the pyramid, the more of it you can enjoy.
The caveman diet is known as paleo. There is nutrition in the plan but experts are opposed to the fasting feature of this paleo plan.
There is a blood type diet. The food you eat is based on blood type. The rarest types are the most restrictive. Blood type diets list the healthiest foods for specific blood types.
There is a certain science behind the plan, but many disagree with the recommendations. It is not a widely accepted concept.
The French women don’t get fat diet. That’s the name. It focuses on balanced healthy eating.
You won’t be counting calories or worrying about food groups. It’s about portion control and lots of liquids. Soups and tea are promoted.
Glycemic diet is measuring food based on G rating.
High glycemic foods produces insulin which triggers the burn of carbohydrates rather than fat.
It also triggers hunger thus more eating. The plan focuses on low glycemic foods. Cutting through all the hype and it’s a fruits and veggie diet.
Atkins diet. It may be unfair to call Atkins a gimmick diet. It has been around for forty years with all sorts of accolades. But it is a gimmick. It is not based on normal eating habits. It is to dramatically reduce one group in favor of another.
Adkins allows for only 20 grams of carbohydrates. It is not a diet recommended for older adults. Experts support more moderate diets, suggesting they are better for seniors. They oppose the radical carb restrictions like those of Atkins.
The Mediterranean diet is a complete change in lifestyle to promote a healthier you. The focus is on eating the foods, prepared like those of the region. The long time health of those living in the mediterranean region is to be emulated.
It is reported that healthier heart, weight and lifestyle are real benefits.
Experts report the choice of foods and flexibility is what makes it so successful. What is also a part of the success of this diet, is the need for exercise. A fact that needs to be a part of every diet.
This plan is the closest you will get to a sustainable eating plan in our ‘gimmick diet’ section.
This list can go on for ever. Here a few names.
- Cabbage Soup
- The Grapefruit Diet
- A Macrobiotic Diet
- The Master Cleanse Diet
- The Shangri-La Diet
- The Volumetrics Diet
- The Zone Diet
Looking at these gimmick diets, we wonder, are they really diets, or just savvy marketing trying to sell books or DVD’s?
Sustaining a healthy lifestyle is what we wish to promote with the information on diets. Not to tell anyone what diet to choose, but to give our opinion on what is best for most seniors.
The Third: Menu Plans
We found one. There are certainly more, but we didn’t find them. We did find websites boasting menu plans, but the sites were to confusing to navigate.
It’s a good bet that if the website is hard to understand, the menu diets will be even worse.
The one worth looking at is this. A weekly plan of what to eat and how to prepare it. Seems simple and sensible. Driscolls.com
Addressing the right diet for you involves first knowing what the goal is.
A) Lose weight
B) Healthy food
C) Balanced diet
D) All of the above.
The Fourth: Eating Plans
A meal plan within a diet. The program sells ready to eat meals that meet the guidelines of the diet.
The user simply heats and eats. It has instructions of what to eat and when to eat it. It is focused on portion control and eating habits.
It is a mix of good eating choices. The plan includes support from the Jenny Craig people.
The long term thrust is educational with the intent of getting customers to the point they do not need the planned meals.
Members will be able to create their own meals following what they have learned in the program.
The single ‘con’ of the plan seems to be the cost. It is expensive.
The diet is prepared meals delivered to your home. The focus is on portion control, low-glycemic carbohydrates, plenty of fiber, and lean protein.
The three meals a day plan is abridged to be five eating times. They suggest adding fruits if snacking is desired.
Also available are craving crusher shakes, much like a smoothie, to counter the cravings often found in diet plans.
The concept is similar to Jenny Craig in that it trains you to eat proper portions as well as to what foods are healthy. Looking for a con? It might be the cost. As much as $300 per month.
HealthyLivingAfter60.com has previously looked at the Nutrisytem plan and found that the daily costs is far less than dining out. Even in cases of fast food.
The $300 monthly figure boils down to $10 per day. A number hard to reach in normal living. Remember. The $10 is for five meals, albeit they are small.
This is a long term plan to change the eating habits of its members. The focus is similar to Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig in that it promotes portion control. They do it a little different.
While allowing dieters to eat what they want, a point system is used when it comes to ‘how much.’ The program as evolved over the years with the newest point system introduced last year
Weight watchers has an emphasis on healthy exercise. It is a balanced approached to creating a new healthy lifestyle to lose weight.
The approach is science based, and is absent of gimmicks and tricks to lose weight.
Studies show it is a cost effective method of losing weight. The membership does not include food costs.
WebMD has some suggestions on healthy foods for aging adults. It includes ‘colorful’ fruits and veggies.
Next is dairy including milk. Remember calcium and vitamin D? We wrote about it here .
Then there is lean protein, whole grains, and omega 3. It was noted that WebMD gets caught up on saturated fats.
The myth of the 1970’s has been debunked. Science shows studies with hundreds of thousands of results. Saturated fats are not the evil once believed. Read it here.
Some common threads beyond specific diets like Atkins, allow for many of the same foods. Fruits and vegetables, More fish. Higher fiber.
As we looked at the best diets for seniors, we find that the options are plentiful. What needs to be determined is the goal of the senior.
The eating plans listed here are a great method of training yourself to eat controlled portions high in the most important food groups.
After that, the best diet may lay in a menu plan like the one linked above. Simple and sensible menus for a healthy diet.
There is a lot here to consider. Maybe too much.
The Mediterranean diet in the ‘gimmick diet’ section is a good choice if a menu or eating plan don’t work for you.
Here is our point. Healthy living after 60, when it comes to the best diet is the one that promotes healthy living. To do that, it needs to be a lifestyle thing.
If your eating habits have given you additional challenges beyond weight, then the best diet will be the one that has you changing to a truly healthy eating plan.
It sounds like a simple solution and actually, it is. Now you only need to pick the best diet for you.
If you have comments or questions, we would like to talk about it. Drop it in the comments sections and we’ll talk. -Robert