Questions and answers from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
What is the biggest misconception regarding the role of nutrition as it relates to heart disease?
Nutrition can have a direct impact on heart disease. One big example is the importance of vitamin B12. In adults over 50, there is a decreased ability to absorb vitamin B12. A person can actually get heart disease with a vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 can be found in fortified cereals, lean meats, fish and low-fat dairy.
In what ways is hydration even more important as people age?
Older people have a decreased thirst sensation, so they can get dehydrated easier. This can lead to several different kidney and urinary tract issues. Don't rely on your thirst as an indicator for fluid needs. Fill a large water container and make it a goal to drink at least two of them daily, in addition to the water you take in through foods and other beverages.
What changes can people prediabetes make to their diet that will have a big impact in delaying or preventing their blood glucose levels from reaching type 2 levels?
The best thing they can do is eat less food at a sitting and instead eat more frequently. Meal skipping and then "mega-mealing" really challenge the body. The other big thing is to increase physical activity. Exercise helps pull glucose out of the bloodstream, so it is nature's way to balance the body's processes.