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I don't eat many dairy products. How can I get enough calcium?
I take diuretics; how can I get enough potassium?
People who have trouble digesting milk can usually drink it in small amounts or can drink milk to which the enzyme lactase has been added (see Section 2 for suggestions). Buttermilk, yogurt, or cheese are good alternatives and are easier to digest. Other people simply don't like milk or dairy products. Calcium can be found in other foods. It's found naturally in leafy green vegetables like kale and broccoli. It's also added to some products such as fruit juice. It's best to get as much calcium as you can from the food you eat. If you feel you are not getting enough from foods, discuss whether you should take a calcium supplement (and what kind) with your doctor or dietitian.
First of all it's important to know if the diuretic you take is one that depletes potassium or one that has little effect on it. Generally, the more potent diuretics produce significant potassium losses. You should discuss the specific drug you are taking with the doctor who prescribed it for you. Most people's diets do not provide enough potassium to make up for what is lost due to the diuretic. However, proper choice of foods can effectively replace potassium losses.
Most foods provide some potassium. Fruits, vegetables, milk, and yogurt are among the best sources. Some meats, poultry, and fish are good sources too. Here are some common foods that are good sources of potassium:
Any Other Questions ...
Write your own questions below. Check the resource list in section 7 for people who may be able to answer your questions.
Tips and Recipes
Food Facts for Older Adults
Make some simple changes in your recipes, using the recipes in this section as examples.
You don't have to eliminate all of the fat, sugar, and sodium from the foods you eat to follow a healthy diet. Balance is the key. Think about how you can cut down on the fat, sugar, and sodium in the foods you prepare and eat. Consider also how you can get more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Simple changes make a difference. The following pages contain tips on preparing foods with less fat, sugar, and sodium as well as recipes to help you eat in a more healthful way.
Breads, Cereals, Rice, Pasta
Notice that, • Many of the recipes are prepared without
added salt. Some use ingredients that already contain salt such as canned tuna, cereal, cheese, and soy sauce, while others are seasoned with herbs or spices. Lower fat ingredients are used instead of similar ingredients that are higher in fat. For example, water-packed tuna instead of oil-packed tuna, reduced-calorie salad dressing instead of regular salad dressing, skim milk instead of whole milk, and chicken breast without skin rather than
chicken breast with skin. • The desserts and quick bread are prepared
with less sugar than most similar recipes. • Whole-grain products are used in place of
some or all of the all-purpose flour.
Make some simple changes at the table, too. See if you can take the salt shaker away or cut down the number of times you use it. Do you usually add a dab of butter or margarine to vegetables when you put them on the table? Try a low-calorie spread instead. Are there other changes you can make?
Bran Apple Bars Apples and bran cereal add dietary fiber. Using egg whites in place of a whole egg keeps cholesterol to a trace.
Zucchini Bread This quick bread contains less fat, cholesterol, sugar, and sodium than many traditional squash breads. Use for dessert in place of an iced cake.
1 loaf, 18 slices, about 1/2-inch thick
........4 grams Saturated fatty acids .............
.....1 gram Cholesterol. Sodium.............
1/3 cup 1-1/2 teaspoons
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. 2. Grease 9- by 9-inch baking pan. 3. Soak bran in milk until milk is absorbed. 4. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. 5. Beat margarine and sugar until creamy. Add egg
whites; beat well. Stir in apples and bran mixture.
Add dry ingredients; mix well. 6. Pour into pan. 7. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean. 8. Cool on rack. 9. Cut into 16 bars.
1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. 2. Grease 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan. 3. Mix dry ingredients, except sugar. 4. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add sugar, oil, and
vanilla. Continue beating for 3 minutes. 5. Stir in zucchini; mix lightly. 6. Add dry ingredients. Mix just until dry
ingredients are moistened. 7. Pour into loaf pan. 8. Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean. 9. Cool on rack. Remove from pan after 10 minutes. 10. To serve, cut into 18 slices about 1/2-inch thick.
Note: Check the nutrition label of cereals for sodium content. Some whole-bran cereals contain almost twice as much sodium as others.