By the time you turn 60, odds are you’re pretty in tune with your health and overall wellbeing. You know which workouts you’re likely to find yourself needing a few days to recover from, which medications work best to keep you healthy, and how much sleep you need to wake feeling well-rested in the morning.
However, many people over 60 still include foods in their diet that could be causing them serious harm in the long run. If you want to feel better and have more energy, read on to discover which foods you should never eat over 60, according to dietitians. And for some smart additions to your diet, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
While sprouts may seem healthy, they may not be the right choice for the over-60 set.
“Sprouts can grow salmonella and E.coli, which can make you sick,” says Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, of Wellness Verge. “The immune system weakens as we age, and so consuming sprouts may put seniors at risk for foodborne illness,” Mitri explains.
For more foods that could be making you sick, check out The #1 Food That Causes Foodborne Illness, According to Experts.
If you’re eating processed meats on a regular basis, you could be creating the perfect environment for inflammation in your body.
“Foods that increase inflammation [include] processed meats,” explains Vivo Care Team Head of Nutrition Jamie Rincker, MS, RD. “Aging is an inflammatory process and whole food choices from whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and fresh meat will do more for your body in the long run.”
If you do choose to indulge, Rincker says to limit these foods to a weekly or monthly treat. “You can still enjoy a hot dog at the ballpark, but be mindful about how often you have them,” Rincker says.
If you want to make healthier choices in the future, check out the 30 Best and Worst Packaged Deli Meats.
While you likely know that pastries aren’t exactly health food, experts say they can do particular harm to your health if you’re over 60.
“High in calories, fat, and sugar, starting your day with a doughnut, pastry, or other sweet treat is one of the worst things to eat as these foods are linked to overweight and obesity, they provide little satiety, and they can increase your appetite and cravings for carbs and sweets all day,” says Julie Upton, MS, RD, co-founder of Appetite for Health.
Soda isn’t a great choice for your health at any age, but you should definitely steer clear of it at all costs after 60.
“Soda is a bad choice after 60 as it is linked to overweight and obesity and metabolic syndrome, which can increase risk for both diabetes and heart disease,” says Upton.
For more insight into just how bad those drinks are for your health, check out the 112 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are.
If you’re finding it harder to maintain your weight over 60, cutting fried foods from your meal plan might be a wise choice.
“Fried foods of any kind are a bad choice when you’re over 60,” says Upton. “They can increase risk for obesity and heart disease and are so high in calories that it is hard to stick to your daily calorie budget.”
If you’re eager to improve your health after age 60, you might want to consider giving up your regular candy habit.
“Traditional sugar includes no nutritional benefits and instead may increase the risk of obesity, heart disease, and insulin resistance—a key player in developing type 2 diabetes. A diet high in sugar may also contribute to mood disorders and increase the risk of dementia, high blood pressure, liver disease, and certain types of cancer,” explains Megan Roosevelt, RDN, founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com.
If you want to make smarter choices in the candy aisle, check out The Best & Worst Chocolate in America—Ranked!, and for more healthy eating tips delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!