If you are what you eat, you want to make sure you eat well throughout your lifetime to protect your health.

As we get older (and, of course, wiser), a nutrient-dense diet becomes more important. “In general, we will need slightly fewer calories, but many of our needs remain the same as when we were younger and could consume more calories while maintaining our weight,” says Kristian Morey, RD, LDN, a Clinical Dietitian with the Nutrition and Diabetes Education program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

While the amount of food we eat as we age may remain somewhat stable, what doesn’t stay the same is how efficiently our bodies extract nutrients from those foods. As older adults, “we may be less efficient at absorbing some nutrients from our foods. For example, individuals over the age of 50 have a higher need for vitamin D due to the skin’s reduced capacity to make it,” she continues, noting that we also can lose some ability to absorb certain nutrients like calcium and vitamin B12.

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