08 May

Chronic Conditions are widespread in our communities, and affects many people's lives. It's challenging for individuals and healthcare systems alike to manage Chronic Conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six out of every ten adults in the United States have at least one chronic condition, with many having multiple conditions. These conditions, such as heart problems, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease, not only make life more challenging but also account for the most deaths worldwide.

Why Nutrition Matters

Nutrition plays a crucial role in managing chronic conditions. What we eat can either worsen health problems or help us manage them effectively. Consuming unhealthy foods high in calories but low in nutrients increases the risk of chronic conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Conversely, adopting a healthier diet can lower the risk of developing these diseases.

For instance, incorporating more plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into our diets has been associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, if we don't consume essential nutrients we can exacerbate health problems and accelerate disease progression. Ensuring adequate intake of key nutrients is essential for maintaining overall health and preventing the onset of chronic conditions.

Nutrition Tips for Older Adults:

  1. Consume a variety of nutrient-rich foods to meet daily nutrient needs and maintain a healthy body weight.
  2. Incorporate seafood, dairy or fortified soy alternatives, beans, peas, and lentils to support muscle mass maintenance.
  3. Include fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks, opting for frozen, canned, or ready-to-eat options for convenience.
  4. Make mealtimes social events by sharing meals with friends or participating in community meal programs.
  5. Ensure adequate intake of vitamin B12 through protein-rich foods and fortified products, considering supplementation if necessary.
  6. Discuss dietary supplement use with healthcare providers to determine individual needs and appropriate supplementation.
  7. Choose foods low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  8. Stay hydrated by drinking water, low-fat milk, or 100% juice throughout the day, while limiting beverages high in added sugars or salt.
  9. Maintain a healthy weight by following a balanced diet and staying physically active.
  10. Practice food safety measures to prevent foodborne illness, such as proper cleaning, separation, cooking, and storage of food items.

Further Resources

  1. Get a Personalized MyPlate Plan 
  2. CDC Healthy Eating for Older Adults Tip Sheet
  3. CDC Healthy Eating on a Budget
  4. Physical Activity: Move Your Way Older Adult Fact Sheet 

Want Support? Join us at Whitney!

Join Whitney Wellness Workshops! Many of our workshops can help you set and meet your nutritional goals, and better manage your chronic conditions. 


  1. Living Well with Chronic Pain 
  2. Diabetes Prevention Program 
  3. Living Well with Diabetes 
  4. or try Enhance Wellness to work 1:1 with one of our certified Health Coaches. 

and see our full list of offerings HERE. 

By making informed dietary choices, individuals can better manage their health and enhance their quality of life. Understanding the importance of nutrition in managing chronic illness can empower individuals, especially seniors, to take control of their health and well-being.

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