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Seldom or never

a Vetimes

3 to 5 time

1 to 2 times

a week

3 to 5 times

a week

Almost daily

How often do you eat1. Three or more servings of breads and

cereals made with whole grains?

2. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes,

corn, peas, or dishes made with
dry beans or peas?

3. Several servings of other vegetables?

4. Whole fruit with skins and/or seeds

(berries, apples, pears, etc.)?

The best answer is ALMOST DAILY. Whole-grain products, fruits, and vegetables provide fiber. Eating a variety of these foods daily will provide you with adequate fiber, both soluble and insoluble types.

Avoiding Problems When Medications and Foods Don't Mix

Do You Take Medicines Properly?

Many older adults take several medications, both prescription and over-the-counter types. It's important to find out from your doctor or pharmacist if these medicines are affected by food or beverages. Some medicines must be taken with meals, while others work better on an empty stomach. Some medicines may have serious or unpleasant side effects or may not work as well if taken in combination with certain foods or alcoholic beverages. Writing out a schedule for your meals and medicines can help you take your medicines properly and get adequate nutrition—both are important to your health.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are special instructions about diet and if there are foods you should avoid when taking your medicine. You may need special advice about diet and

When you get a new prescription medicine, be sure you understand when to take it, how much to take, how long to take it, and what to do if you miss a dose.

Tell your doctor about any other medicines you may be taking, including those prescribed by other doctors, over-the-counter medicines, and any vitamins or other supplements.

Ask whether there are foods or over-thecounter medicines you should not take with your new prescription.

Contact your doctor or pharmacist right away if you experience any side effects. If you are taking several medicines for long periods, ask your doctor every once in a while if you should still be taking all of them. Don't stop taking any prescribed medicines without consulting your doctor.

Make sure you understand the name of the drug and directions printed on the container. Ask your pharmacist to use large type if necessary. If child-proof containers are hard to handle, ask for easy-to-open containers.

Discard old prescription medicines and expired over-the-counter drugs. Never take drugs that were prescribed for a friend or relative, even though your symptoms may be the same.

• diuretics and other high blood

pressure medicines, • some antibiotics,

some pain relievers, • some antidepressants, • anticoagulants (drugs for blood thinning),

antacids.

Planning a Menu Using the Food Guide

The 1,600-calorie menu includes the lower numbers of servings from the food groups, and the 2,400-calorie menu includes the higher numbers of servings shown in the table on page 17. Jelly, mar

garine, sherbet, and lemonade are extras, The sample menu on the next page from the Fats, Oils, and Sweets group. shows how you might use the Food Listed below are nutrient values for the Guide Pyramid on page 16 of this section. two menus:

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Peanut butter sandwich

2 slices of whole-wheat bread 2 tbsp. of peanut butter

2 tsp. of jelly Graham crackers Lemonade

3 squares 8 fl. oz.

None 8 fl. oz.

Food Facts for Older Adults

Making Healthy Food Choices When You Shop and Cook

U se Food Labels

Many older adults who once cooked and shopped for families now find they must adjust their shopping and preparation to fit the appetite of one or two people. Others find themselves on their own in the kitchen or supermarket for the first time. Most are becoming more concerned about calories, fat, and sodium in their diets. Here are some tips on how to manage in an increasingly complex marketplace.

Food labels are the best source of specific information about the foods you buy and eat. They can help you choose between similar products. Here is what you need to know:

Ingredients are listed in order by weight, from the largest amount to the least amount.

Check the ingredient list for ingredients you may want to limit, such as salt, saturated fats, or sugars, or those you want to increase, such as whole grains in baked products.

Nutrition information lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, sodium, and various vitamins and minerals contained in a serving of the food. Saturated fat, cholesterol, and dietary fiber may also be listed. Amounts of vitamins and minerals are listed as percentages of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances (U.S. RDA's), nutrient standards developed for food product labels by the U.S. Government.

Is It Fresh?

New on the Market Quick and Easy Meals Dinner's in the Freezer Focus on Food Safety

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