Kathy Swideriski is an RN for Caregiver Homes at the Springfield, Massachusetts Branch.

Elders who have diabetes, heart disease, or a weight loss goal may be on a nutrition plan. People who suffer from arthritis or fibromyalgia should also pay close attention to their nutrition because they may not get enough exercise. Before making any changes to diet or activity level, it is always advised that people consult with their primary care physicians to plan the right approach. In many cases, a physician may refer people to a nutritionist. Some benefits to practicing better nutrition include improved health, increased energy, and weight loss.

Here are ten tips to help you make better nutritional choices:

1. Set realistic goals around healthy eating.

2. Reduce salt in your diet and replace it with healthier seasonings.

3. Look for ways to add more color to your meals by adding vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables.

4. Drink more water to help keep you hydrated throughout the day.

5. Know that it is okay to politely decline certain foods when it conflicts with your restricted diet.

6. Practice portion control.

7. Consider bringing your own healthy choices to a gathering, so you can control what you eat.

8. Make sure you are getting enough calcium to help prevent osteoporosis.

9. Lean on your support system to help you stay on track.

10. Remember the health benefits of committing to your new nutrition plan to help you stay motivated.

Many people struggle with making good nutrition choices, but it can be easier to follow through on new, healthy habits when people have a support team. Remember that with consistency and gradual improvements to your diet, you can realize your nutrition goals and achieve positive outcomes.