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Picture the Perfect Plate
LiveWell: His & Hers
LiveWell: Nutrition
Aging Answers:
What to Expect
Maybe it takes a little longer for your morning stiffness to
go away. Or perhaps you forget where you placed your car
keys more often. Are these normal experiences for people in
their 50s and 60s? Or are they signs of more serious health
Mark Kurzawa, M.D., a family practitioner certified in family
and geriatric medicine at St. John Hospital and Medical
Center in Detroit, says people at this stage of life can expect
some changes related to aging. Here are some common
Joint pain:
“Arthritis can be a result of normal
wear and tear on the joints. But if you suddenly
experience joint pain or if it significantly affects your
normal movement, it’s best to see your doctor.”
Memory loss:
“Occasionally forgetting someone’s
name or where you put the car keys is normal.
But if your family members or friends notice it’s
happening more often, it could signal a bigger
problem. That’s one reason why it’s important to
have a close relationship with a family doctor,
and at least an annual physical exam. If you’re
concerned about memory loss, your doctor can get a
sense of its severity.”
Weight gain:
“Weight gain is not a change that
comes with aging. What changes is a person’s
level of physical activity. Weight gain should be
The next time you prepare a meal, picture your place setting. Will you have
space for the five food groups?
To help better promote healthy eating, the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) replaced the food pyramid with the MyPlate icon. The
new shape uses visual cues to help consumers make good food choices.
The USDA recommends making half your plate fruits and vegetables, and the
other half whole grains and lean protein. Low-fat dairy sits alongside the
plate in a drinking glass icon. Here are guidelines for men and women age 51
and over who get 30 minutes or less of moderate physical activity per day:
Men: 2 cups
8 large strawberries or 32 seedless grapes = 1 cup
Women: 1½ cups
Men: 2½ cups
1 large baked sweet potato, 12 baby carrots, or
Women: 2 cups
2 cups raw leafy greens = 1 cup
Men & Women:
1 regular slice whole-grain bread or 1 packet
3-ounce equivalent
instant oatmeal = 1-ounce equivalent
Protein Foods
Men: 5½-ounce equivalent
1 egg, ¼ cup cooked beans or 1 tablespoon
Women: 5-ounce equivalent
peanut butter = 1-ounce equivalent
Men & Women:
1 cup milk, yogurt or soymilk; 1½ ounces natural
3 cups men and women
cheese; or 2 ounces processed cheese = 1 cup
For the healthiest choices, pick low-sodium and low-fat options.
To learn more about personalizing healthy meals for your plate, visit
Here’s some
news for people
who love eating
fish: Besides being tasty, it’s also good for your heart.
Fish is a great source of protein and is low in saturated fat.
Fatty fish – like salmon, mackerel, lake trout or albacore
tuna – also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Eating foods with
these acids is very beneficial and can decrease risk of
arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats), cut elevated blood fat
levels and lower your overall risk of heart disease.
Go Fish
addressed because it’s a risk factor for diabetes, heart
attack, cancer and other diseases.”
Hearing loss:
“Patients rarely notice their own
hearing loss – it’s usually brought up by a family
member. Have your hearing checked so you can learn
about treatment options. There have been significant
technological advances in hearing aids over the past
20 years.”
“Women experience the largest loss of
bone mass right after menopause. It’s a normal part
of the aging process and doesn’t usually show
symptoms at that age. It can be addressed by taking
calcium supplements and regular strength training.”
You can’t turn back the clock, but Dr. Kurzawa says it’s
possible to slow down the effects of the aging process.
“You’ll experience some changes in your physical capacity as
you age,” he says. “Stay active and eat a healthy, balanced
diet to reduce aging’s impact on your body. Be sure to get
regular health exams and screenings and don’t hesitate to
discuss your concerns with your doctor.”
For more healthy aging tips log in at
choose the
My Health & Wellness
tab, select
and then select
HAP LiveWell:Mid-Life
. Here
you’ll find preventive screening recommendations,
webinars and important resources.
The American Heart Association recommends eating 3.5
ounces cooked or ¾ cup flaked fish twice per week. Cook by
baking, broiling or grilling, not frying.
People with coronary artery disease or high triglyceride
levels who don’t get enough omega-3 through diet alone
may want to ask their doctor about taking fish oil
To learn more about how to make fish part of your healthy
diet, visit