When you reach the age of 60, you become a senior and part of the fastest growing elderly population in our nation, in California and in Woodland according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At 60 you are probably in pretty good health, but you still face the possibility of getting chronic disease. Nearly 70 percent of Medicare dollars are spent on 20 percent of Americans with five or more chronic diseases according to research by the Veterans Administration. How your aging process continues to play out will depend on the types of foods you eat. The science says you can prevent chronic disease through quality and quantity of nutrients in your daily diet and physical activity.
You need to increase foods that contain higher amounts of nutrients and decrease foods that are high in fat, calories and sugar. The Mediterranean diet is a good diet to follow for the rest of your life. It is not a medical or weight-loss diet. It is an ordinary list of foods that contain high quality and high quantity of nutrients consumed everyday by people who live around the Mediterranean Sea. This diet has been the target of research for many years in seven countries because people who adhere to this way of eating have less chronic disease and live a long, healthy life. The Mayo Clinic says research has consistently shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease, the incidence of cancer and cancer mortality, and the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The Alzheimer’s Disease 2011 Report says people start to develop mild cognitive decline at 65 years or older and mild cognitive decline is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Following the Mediterranean diet can reduce your risk for mild cognitive decline.
Over the next decade more nutrition services will be necessary to help seniors get the quality and quantity of nutrients they need to live a long healthy life. The Elderly Nutrition Program in Yolo County began this effort in 1975. The Elderly Nutrition Program provides nutritious meals on wheels to any senior in Woodland. The goal of this program is to provide nutritious meals to seniors to make sure “No senior will go hungry in Yolo County.”