Nutrition for Women Over Age 50

Photo credit: Katie CC-BY-SA-2.0

As women age, their nutritional needs change. Middle-age women may gain weight, especially around the hips and belly. Osteoporosis is a serious concern for women after age 50. Proper nutrition plus weight-bearing exercises can help to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures. Women are also at risk of losing muscle mass unless they stay active and exercise. Nutrition and exercise also help you to reduce the risk of heart attack, diabetes, and some cancers.

Cut back on your total caloric intake if you start to gain weight. Cutting calories does not mean skimping on nutrition. Replace high-calorie foods with little nutritional value with low-calorie nutrient-rich foods. Instead of a doughnut for breakfast, eat a bowl of hot oatmeal with some fresh blueberries and a cup of low-fat yogurt. Whole grains, fresh fruits, and dairy products provide your body with muscle and bone-building nutrients. Vitamin D and calcium are critical to keeping your bones strong and healthy. Your body can’t absorb calcium without vitamin D. Milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of both vitamin D and calcium.

Eat more fresh vegetables and get plenty of protein in your diet. Lean meats, poultry, whole grains, and legumes are good sources of protein. Raw vegetables are best, but lightly grilling or steamed vegetables can provide optimal nutrition. Avoid overcooking vegetables to preserve the precious nutrients your body needs. Vegetables and fruits also provide your body with disease and age-fighting antioxidants. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated. If you think you need a calcium or vitamin supplement, see your doctor.

 

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