June 26, 2022


Outstanding health & fitness

5 Foods to Say No to After 50

Bottom line: Get the side salad instead of restaurant fries. And when you’re looking at labels, consider that “a 200-calorie serving of food should have no more than 2 grams of saturated fat,” says Nancy Farrell Allen, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Skip it: Sugary drinks, including most bottled teas

Soft drinks aren’t your only enemy. Bottled teas, fancy coffee drinks and “fresh” lemonades can all be loaded with the sweet stuff. “For example, the 16-ounce chai latte at Starbucks, one of its most popular drinks, has 42 grams of sugar,” Rosenbloom says.

With bottled drinks, beware of misleading labels. “Just because a drink says ‘pure’ or ‘green tea’ or ‘honey’ doesn’t mean it has less sugar,” Rosenbloom says. And products touting their organic cane sugar, coconut sugar or raw sugar? “Sugar is sugar,” she adds.

Bottom line: “Aim to keep added sugar intake to 10 percent or less of total daily calories,” Gorin says. “For a 2,000-calorie daily diet, that would be no more than 200 calories, or 50 grams of added sugar per day.”

Skip it: Packaged foods with sneaky sugars

“Hidden sugars can be found in pasta sauces, yogurt, granola bars, instant oatmeal packets and breakfast cereals,” Allen says. Why’s that so harmful for older adults? “Excess sugar can put stress on organs such as the pancreas and liver,” Allen says, “which can increase blood sugar and blood triglyceride levels and raise the risk of fatty liver disease.”

Adds Loepfe: “Sugars increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, the incidence and prevalence of which increase as we age.” And at a time in life when every calorie should be nutrient-dense, “added sugar really contributes to calories we don’t need,” he says.

Bottom line: Check labels for added sugars — but don’t fret over natural sugars in fruits or milk.

Skip it: High-sodium instant meals (think: frozen pizzas) 

“Seventy-five percent of people over age 60 have high blood pressure. And even if you’re on medication, you want to lower your sodium intake,” Rosenbloom says. If you think you’re eating a low-salt diet because you don’t salt your grilled corn or soup, consider that frozen pizza or canned soup you just heated up.