by Heather McMillion, MS, RD, LD
Healthy Aging Month is celebrated in September. One of the best things we can do for our health as we age is to eat well. Eating well happens when we enjoy nutritious foods that honor our needs, preferences, culture, and budget. We are encouraged to limit foods and drinks that are high in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium as well as limit alcoholic beverage intake.
Choosing healthful foods that have the protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fluids we need, and being mindful of portion sizes, especially when we eat foods that are less healthful, are important to help us reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Most Americans have trouble getting enough of some nutrients: calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin D. Older adults also tend to consume enough protein, vitamin B12, and fluids. Fortunately, foods from the land and water of the YK Delta can meet some of these needs. If you shop at the grocery store, you can also choose foods that include these nutrients.
•Calcium – salmon (with bones); milk, cheese, and yogurt from dairy animals; fortified almond/soy/rice “milk”; almonds; leafy greens such as spinach and kale
•Potassium – salmon; beans; many fruits and vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, raisins, oranges, bananas; dairy milk; plant “milk”; nuts such as cashews and almonds
•Fiber – whole grains (bread, pasta, cereal, rice); whole fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned); nuts; beans
•Vitamin D – salmon; dairy milk; plant “milk”; egg yolks; fortified cereals
•Protein – salmon and other fish; moose and other meats; ptarmigan and other birds; eggs; beans; nuts; whole grains
•Vitamin B12 – fish; meat; birds; eggs; dairy; fortified breakfast cereals, enriched plant “milk”
•Fluids – Water is the healthiest choice. Many fruits and vegetables also contribute to our daily fluid intake. Juice and drinks with added sugars such as pop, Tang, Kool-Aid are discouraged.
With moose season this month, we wanted to share this healthy recipe for Moose Soup, which uses ingredients you may already have in your house. How many of the nutrients listed can you get from moose soup?
1 lb. moose, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup rice
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups assorted vegetables, chopped (canned, fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups low-sodium beef or vegetable broth
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add meat to the pot and cook until browned (approximately eight minutes). Transfer meat to a plate and add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add onions, carrots, and assorted vegetables. Cook for four minutes.
Add in remaining garlic, salt, and pepper to pot. Add the broth and rice to pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover pot and let simmer for 45 minutes, or until rice is fully cooked. Enjoy!
Heather McMillion, MS, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian/Clinical Diabetes Educator for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.