Nutrition Information from Senior Resources: Fuel your Body with Foods for Energy

Just like an engine, our bodies need fuel to keep them running. We burn calories all day, every day as we breathe, sleep, talk, laugh, walk or exercise so we need to eat enough to meet these needs. For most of the population, we consume more calories than we need which results in storing fat; but we can adjust the equation of calories consumed versus calories burned through being mindful of what we eat or drink and working to be more physically active.

There are many sources of energy in food and it is best if we take in a variety to make sure that energy is available to us over a long period of time. Foods that are starchy or sweet such as fruit or refined grains are digested easily so they go into our bloodstream quickly. Foods that are high in fat such as nuts, oils or meat take longer to digest and they have more calories in every bite so they make us feel full for a longer time. Foods that are high in protein but low in fat such as fish, eggs, beans, low-fat dairy, or lean meats take a moderate amount of time to digest so they help us to feel
full without too many extra calories. Foods with high amounts of fiber such as vegetables, whole grains and whole fresh fruits also function to slow the speed that fuel goes into our bloodstream and to assist with digestion; they also make us feel full longer. All types of food are important for our body to work best. Hydration is also critical to keeping our engine running smoothly!

Here is a sample day of meals that will keep you fueled with energy:

• Breakfast – Whole grain toast with Peanut Butter, Plain Low Fat Yogurt with defrosted frozen berries, Coffee or Tea
• Snack – Hard Boiled Egg, Whole Grain Crackers, Sliced Melon, Water
• Lunch – Mixed Greens, Garden Vegetables and Whole Grain Salad with Pecan Crusted Salmon, Water or Low Fat Milk
• Snack- Carrot and Celery Sticks with Hummus, Water
• Dinner- Herb Roasted Chicken, Baked Potato with Broccoli & Low Fat Sour Cream, Zucchini Vegetable Blend, Water
• Snack- Popcorn, Water

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