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Friday, October 11, 2013

Diet and Disease for Retirees by Stacy

I remember being in middle school when my dad hit middle age, and along with it, developed high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The only thing we got to eat from that time until I graduated was dried out chicken, baked potatoes with a dash of Mrs. Dash’s and plain air-popped popcorn.  And we had that same meal every day.  The diet helped my dad’s numbers, but it sure made all of us miserable.

Well, times have changed. Experts have learned much more about what it takes to keep healthy and people have figured out ways to make healthier food taster much better.  As my dad gets close to retirement, he’ll need to make additional changes to his diet to keep up with changes taking place in his health as he ages.

Next Wednesday, on Oct. 16, at 1:30 p.m., retirees like my dad can find out exactly what to about their diet when registered dietician Elizabeth Lohrman comes to the library to talk about how nutrition and diet affect high blood pressure and cholesterol.  Elizabeth is the coordinator of nutrition for OSU’s Department of Wellness and I certainly wish we’d had her around when my family had to make its big diet changes.  Her discussion is part of OSU’s Emeriti Association’s monthly series called “Making the Most of Retirement.”

Elizabeth will talk about the dietary needs of seniors, including how much and what kind of protein and fiber they need, and what foods contribute to a balanced diet and heart health.  She says that diet in people over 65 can be a challenge because vitamins and minerals don’t absorb as easily.  To make things harder, medications cause drastic changes in the way food tastes.  If healthy foods taste blander to you lately, you may want to check out some of these titles that have healthy recipes for great tasting food.

“The DASH diet action plan” by Marla Heller combines exercise with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low and nonfat dairy, lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, and nuts to combat high blood pressure and cholesterol

“Bringing down high blood pressure” by Chad Rhoden provides delicious recipes for bringing down high blood pressure.

“American Heart Association's low-fat,low-cholesterol cookbook” argues that heart-healthy food doesn't have to be dull and tasteless and gives 200 easy-to-prepare recipes to prove it.

Get more book suggestions at the Help Desk.  Retirees interested in learning more about the monthly programs should visit

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