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As women age, they struggle with many aspects of their life. Maybe it includes a sedentary lifestyle or a slowing metabolism. Or maybe you've developed a medical problem and your eating habits aren't so great. As much as we hate to admit it, bodies change over time. And the best diet for women over 50 can help you roll with those changes.
The truth is, 50 is just a number. And although it's impossible to stop aging, it is easy to stay healthy with the best diet for women over 50.
What Is The Importance Of Your Diet?
What you eat is always important. When you're a baby, you have different nutritional needs than when you're a teenager. And those needs continue to change throughout your life. As your body changes, you have to change the food that goes into it to support those changes.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” —Jim Rohn
If you want to follow the best diet for women over 50, you have to make dietary adjustments that promote optimal health in the long run. To stay healthy as you age, you must avoid fast food and excessive alcohol, among other foods.
Diet For Women Over 50
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By now, you probably know the key elements of a healthy diet – prioritizing vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats.
But the best diet for women over 50 is more than that. The truth is that when we age, health issues are more likely to pop up: heart disease, loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis. We have time and hormones to thank for that.
However, knowledge is power. If you know age brings an increased risk of weaker bones, for instance, you can combat that with increasing your calcium intake and weight-bearing exercise.
Likewise, if you know your Grandma had trouble with her heart, you can add cardio and heart-healthy foods to lessen your inherited risk.
You have power here.
But before you start planning the best diet for women over 50, talk to your doctor, especially if you have preexisting health issues.
Here are some tips for the best diet for women over 50.
Go nuts...for protein!
The best diet for women over 50 requires food rich in protein.
Protein is vital for human health. It is critical for essential body functions such as building hormones, blood and antibodies, enzymes, bones, muscles, and even skin.
As you age, you lose muscle mass, and it speeds up as you get older. However, age-related muscle issues can be counteracted by the intake of sufficient protein and vitamin D.
You need .36 grams of protein for every pound you weigh to support your body. So, if you weigh 120 pounds, you need about 43.2 grams every day. To give you an idea, 1 cup of chicken equals about 38 grams of protein, and a cup of walnuts has about 12 grams.
So make sure to add some cheese, nuts, fruits, lean meat, tofu, beans, or protein smoothies to your meal plan.
Focus on your bones
It's impossible to exclude calcium in the best diet for women over 50. We already discussed bone loss and how to combat it.
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You need to consume bone-boosting nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. You may have heard that the best diet for women over 50 requires at least 1,200 mg of calcium daily. However, that 1970s research is outdated.
Many health professionals believe that 500 mg to 700 mg of calcium is sufficient to support your bones, and that level is doable through food.
In fact, too much calcium can do more harm than good. It can actually increase your risk for heart disease and the risk of kidney stones.
As for vitamin D, shoot for 800 to 1,000 IU, which you can supplement if you feel you're not getting enough.
Think about including salmon, mushrooms, egg yolks, fortified foods, beans, cheese, nuts, and low-fat milk to your diet.
When it comes to the best diet for women over 50, downsizing your portions at mealtimes is important. Keep your portions in check because your body will need fewer calories to function.
What you want to do at every age is to divide your plate:
When eating out, make sure you have someone to share large meals. If you're dining out alone, you can save the rest of the food for another meal.
The important thing is to listen to your body. As you eat, notice when you feel satisfied. Rather than finishing a full plate of food, when you start to feel full -- stop.
Less wine, more water
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To maintain optimal health, you have to stay hydrated. All of the major organs in the body require sufficient water to function properly. Without enough water, you cannot regulate your temperature, digest food, breakdown nutrients, or excrete waste.
Adult women need about 2.7 liters of water every day. That number translates to a little over 11 cups per day. And while that may sound like a lot, if you keep water with you and sip throughout the day, this goal is easy to achieve.
A good rule of thumb is, if you feel thirsty, you're already starting to dehydrate. So, if that happens, make adjustments and drink more water.
Fiber is your friend
Fiber is essential for gut health, no matter your age. In the best diet for women over 50, you want to hit 21 grams of fiber per day. Any less than that slows up the works inside your body, and any more can cause bloating, intestinal blockages, and gut distress.
Some foods which contain fiber include barley, oats, quinoa, millet, brown rice, and whole grain. You can also get fiber from plant-based sources such as lentils, beans, and fruit. Stick to what's in season, and lessen your intake of processed foods -- that's good advice at any age.
Not all fats are bad
You may think that you cannot eat fats since they are rich in calories. However, healthy fats can satisfy your hunger pangs for longer. Not only that, you need healthy fats for optimal brain and lung function, heart health, cell support, and your immune system.
To support all of these important systems, don't skip the fat! Just choose the right fats. We're not talking about downing a whole row of Oreos, we're talking about adding extra teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, avocados, raw seeds, or nuts to your plate.
Avoid trans fats and saturated fats. Instead, go for those rich in omega-3s and unsaturated fats. This choice will keep you healthy, improve your bodily functions, as well as your skin and hair.
Don’t forget to exercise
The best diet for women over 50 would not be complete without exercise.
Exercise is crucial for your overall health. And sure, you want cardio in your life. Things like walking, running, Zumba class, and swimming are great for staying fit and healthy.
You also want to hit the gym or at least do weight-bearing exercises. You can use actual weights, or you can use your body weight. Either way is important for supporting your bones and muscles.
Strive for physical activity every single day for at least 30 minutes. You can do cardio every day and strength train three or four times a week. Doing so will keep you healthy, strong, and feeling great.
The Best Time To Try This Diet Is Now
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No matter your age, taking care of your body is essential. The key to the best diet for women over 50 is to adjust to your body's needs and stay active. And it's always good to take a multivitamin designed for your age group.
If you want to or feel the need to supplement, talk to your doctor. Checking the current nutritional levels in your blood may be a way to spot any deficiencies if any. That way, you don't over-supplement, and you can get all of the nutrients you need to support your healthy life.
Whatever you're trying to achieve with the best diet for women over 50, remember to love your body no matter what. At the end of the day, how you feel about your body will reflect on the outside.
Do you know other diet tips for women over 50? Tell us your ideas in the comments section.