Healthy eating over 60

As you get older, your body changes. Eating a balanced diet will help you to stay healthy. As always, check with your doctor with regards to your diet, however here is some general advice on what to eat and how to keep healthy as you get older.


Eating a healthy, balanced diet means you need to eat:

  • Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least five portions a day
  • Plenty of wholegrain bread, rice,pasta and potatoes and other starchy foods, rich in fibre
  • Some milk and dairy foods
  • Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein, like nuts and seeds. (Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week, including a portion of oily fish)
  • Only eat a very small amount of foods and drinks that are high in hydrogenated ('bad') fat or sugar


It's important to eat foods which are rich in fibre, iron, calcium and vitamin D. 

Eating foods containing fibre is good for your digestion. Constipation tends to become more of a nuisance as you get older, but fibre-rich foods can prevent constipation and other digestive problems. Good sources of fibre are:

  • Wholegrain bread, rice, pasta and breakfast cereals
  • Potatoes
  • Oats
  • Peas and lentils
  • Fruit and vegetables


Iron is important for our general health. A lack of iron can make us feel as though we have no energy. The best source of iron is lean red meat, although no more than 70g (cooked weight) of meat a day. Other sources of iron are :

  • Pulses (such as peas, beans and lentils)
  • Oily fish such as sardines
  • Eggs
  • Green vegetables
  • Bread and breakfast cereals with added iron
  • Liver (be careful how much liver you eat as it’s also rich in vitamin A, too much of which can be harmful. Having more than 1.5mg of vitamin A a day from food and supplements can increase your risk of bone fracture)


Osteoporosis is a major health issue for older people, particularly women. It happens when your bone density decreases, which raises your risk of fractures. It's important to have calcium in your diet to keep your bones healthy and help you avoid osteoporosis. Good sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • Tinned fish with bones such as sardines
  • Green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage (but not spinach)
  • Soya beans and tofu


Vitamin D is also essential for healthy bones as it helps you absorb calcium. We mainly get our vitamin D through the effect of summer sunshine on our skin. However, it’s also important to get some in your diet from eggs, oily fish and some fortified breakfast cereals.


The most importance thing is to ensure your diet is balanced by not having too much of one type of food and not enough of others. If you incorporate all the types of food mentioned above, you will be eating a nutritious, balanced diet and helping your body to stay as healthy as possible.


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