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What Should I Eat?
Choose many different healthy foods. Pick those that are lower in cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat (mostly in foods that come from animals) and trans fatty acids (found in some processed foods, margarines, and shortenings). Avoid “empty calories” as much as you can. These are foods and drinks with a lot of calories, but not many nutrients—for example, chips, cookies, sodas, and alcohol.

Calories are a way to measure the energy you get from food. If you eat more calories than your body needs, you could gain weight. Most packaged foods have the calorie counts listed on the labels.

How many calories each day for people over age 50?
  • A woman:
    • 1,600 calories, if her physical activity level is low
    • 1,800 calories, if she is moderately active
    • 2,000-2,200 calories if she has an active lifestyle
  • A man:
    • 2,000 calories, if his physical activity level is low
    • 2,200-2,400 calories, if he is moderately active
    • 2,400-2,800 calories, if he has an active lifestyle

The more physically active you are, the more you might be able to eat without gaining weight. Most people should have at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Regular physical activity will help all areas of your life as you grow older.


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