Affording to Eat Well in Your 70s and Beyond
When you’re on a limited income, making sure that you have everything you need to remain healthy is a challenge. But, fortunately, eating well does not have to be difficult, and there are many different resources for seniors that make it more affordable than ever. From utilizing your Medicare plan to its fullest to taking advantage of volunteer services, the following steps can help you live your best life — one meal at a time.
What Does a Healthy Plate Look Like?
If you’ve eaten a certain way your entire life, you may believe that the food that you’ve always put into your body is healthy. While this may be true, it’s important to know what kind of nutrients are right for the human body. According to the National Council on Aging, a healthy meal includes whole grains, produce, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Eating a balance of these will help you maintain your weight and improve your overall health.
Believe it or not, many of the healthiest foods are also the most affordable:
If you are already enrolled in Medicare, and specifically a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be eligible for nutrition and wellness programs that can help you learn how to get the most from each grocery store trip. UnitedHealthcare is one example of a Medicare Advantage plan provider that offers fitness, health management, and wellness programs.
Remember, the food you eat is fuel for your mind and body. Your insurance provider, whether Medicare or not, has a vested interest in your nutrition. If you don’t have Medicare, take a quick peek at your policy to find out if there are programs available to you.
Nutritional Assistance for Seniors
In addition to your Medicare plan (and depending on your income), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP for short) can help you provide for yourself the food you need to be healthy. As DailyCaring explains, however, not all seniors who are eligible participate in the program. It is a common misconception that SNAP benefits are limited to $16 per month. This is the absolute minimum benefit, but eight out of 10 seniors qualify to receive more, with the average older adult receiving $106 per month in food benefits.
When You Don’t Qualify for Help
If you are not eligible for nutritional assistance, there are still ways to save on your grocery bill. Starts by emphasizing fresh, locally grown foods. Your farmers market is an excellent resource. Next, check your grocery store’s discount section, and make a point to keep a note of when certain items go on sale. A word of caution in the clearance section: Avoid buying marked-down vegetables, fruits, and meats unless you plan to consume them on the same day.
Another option is to invest in pre-portioned meal delivery services. These are often very affordable, and many allow you to specify your unique dietary needs, such as if you are vegetarian or cannot consume dairy products. You may also want to consider adding nutritional supplements to your daily nutritional regimen. If it is not possible to get all of the nutrition you need from your food, Qi Supplements can help you restore your body’s balance so that you can thrive throughout your retirement years.
Eating right matters, and the food you put into your body directly impacts your physical and cognitive well-being. Don’t neglect your health, and don’t be afraid to look for ways to save when it comes to filling your refrigerator.
- ACCOUNTING TBL