Food provides the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. Nutrients include proteins , carbohydrates , fats , vitamins , minerals and water. Studies show that a good diet in your later years reduces your risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers. As you age, you might need less energy. But you still need just as many of the nutrients in food. To get them Choose a variety of healthy foods Avoid empty calories, which are foods with lots of calories but few nutrients, such as chips, cookies, soda and alcohol Pick foods that are low in cholesterol and fat, especially saturated and trans fats Saturated fats are usually fats that come from animals. Look for trans fat on the labels of processed foods, margarines and shortenings.