HONOLULU (KHON2) — As we get older, our bodies change and so do our nutritional needs.
“By eating more of a plant-based diet, we can help prevent or manage some of these chronic diseases and as we get older our organs are not as young as they used to be, we need to take better care of them,” said Diana Franklin.
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Franklin is a registered dietitian at The Queen’s Medical Center-West Oahu. It’s a Certified Blue Zones Project Worksite, aiming to improve the community’s health by adopting healthy habits, like eating more fruits and veggies or even beans and tofu.
“So we know ahi poke can be very pricey, it can be healthy but it can be pricey, so we did a swap here at Queen’s to do a tofu poke bowl which is very tasty and can be easier on the budget,” said Franklin.
Franklin said this doesn’t mean you have to give up your spam or bacon. Switch to lower sodium, or just cut back.
“So I had an older gentleman who every morning ate four pieces of bacon and he was not going to give up his bacon,” said Franklin. “So his wife very shrewdly looked at him and said ‘you know what, I’m going to make two pieces of bacon and cut them in half and now you’ll have four pieces of bacon. How would that be?’ And he was like ‘I could live with that!'”
Buying frozen or canned products is fine, but look at the food label and nutrition you’re getting.
“I usually tell my patients for like sodium, cholesterol, saturated fat, you want to keep it at five percent or less,” explained Franklin. “Even the added sugar which is new, you want to keep that at five percent or less the guideline is if it’s 20 percent or more, it’s probably high.”
Franklin also said to watch the condiments you use and suggests cooking with more herbs and spices.
If you want some shoyu, drizzle it on your dish after it’s cooked and already on the table. And one important suggestion: visit the dentist often and take care of your oral health so you can enjoy the foods you love for a long time.
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“Food is not to be battled over. Work with your family and make small changes,” said Franklin.