Whatever your age, your daily food choices make an important difference in your health and in how you look and feel. What you eat can either support healthy aging or cause health problems. 

For older adults in particular, research has shown that eating well may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, and some kinds of cancer. If you already have one or more of these chronic diseases, eating well and staying physically active may help you better manage them.

National Institutes on Aging (NIA)-supported researchers have studied the connection between food and health. For example, the relationship between physical problems and vitamin deficiency. Low concentrations of vitamins in the blood tend to be due to poor nutrition. For example, not eating enough fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk in skeletal muscle decline among older adults.

Low concentration of vitamin E in older adults, especially women, is associated with a loss in physical function. These studies make clear this message: the nutrients you get from eating well can help keep muscles, bones, organs, and other parts of the body strong as you age.

Unfortunately, for some people in our community, there are barriers to getting nutritious food. If limited by income, it is tempting to buy junk food which is calorie dense and filling, but nutritionally poor. NIA research has shown that saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats (found in a variety of food products, including baked goods, cakes, cookies, and crackers) may increase the risk of age-related disease.

There is a healthier, and affordable, alternative. Fare For All is a food option that is available for anyone, of any financial status or age. There are no income or residency restrictions, and no registration or pre-ordering requirements. Fare For All is open to anyone who is looking for quality food at an affordable price.

The monthly program offers an assortment of high quality meat and fresh produce at a saving up to 40% off grocery store prices. For example, the mini meat package ($11) contains four frozen items such as turkey, beef, chicken or fish. The mega meat package ($25) includes a variety of 7-9 frozen meat items, such as beef, chicken, fish, pork or turkey. Selected fresh produce is also available ($10) and usually contains 3-4 varieties of fresh vegetables such as potatoes, onions, carrots, along with additional varieties of fresh fruits.

Beginning May 15, Fare For All will be hosted at Community Thread, located at 2300 Orleans St W, Stillwater. Fare For All is open 4pm to 6pm and no reservation is necessary. Cash, credit, EBT and debit are accepted as forms of payment. The program is brought to our community by The Food Group, and is supported by local partners Community Thread, Valley Outreach, and United Way of Washington County East.

Remember, eating well can help protect you from certain health problems that occur more frequently among older adults. Come check out the quality products offered through this program and do your body, plus your pocketbook, a big favor.

By: Sally Anderson