Best Diet Plan For 55 Year Old Woman

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Best Diet Plan For 55 Year Old Woman – The best diet plan for a 55 year old woman would take into consideration an elderly woman’s heightened risk for certain illnesses and diseases. In addition to this, proper nutrition is not only a great way to maintain health and longevity, but it can also help reduce the risk for disease and illness.

Weight Gain in Women Over 50

Menopause is one factor. “During menopause, women’s body composition takes a turn, increasing muscle breakdown and increasing fat accumulation, particularly in the belly area,” says Maxine Smith, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition.

Some weight gain can be attributed to a slower metabolism. However, changes in metabolism aren’t significant for people in their 40s and 50s, research suggests. Some women put on weight, Fears says, because they aren’t as physically active as they were earlier in their lives, before the demands of their career, raising children and in some cases caring for elderly parents.

Also, as women age, their bodies experience hormone fluctuations, which can lead to weight gain, says Amy Kimberlain, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She’s a registered dietitian certified in diabetes care.

Serious chronic medical conditions are another potential contributor. As women become older, some develop medical conditions that can lead to fluctuations in weight.

These conditions may include:

  • Cancer.
  • Diabetes.
  • Heart disease.
  • High blood pressure.

Changing Nutritional Needs

If you’re a woman age 50 or above, it’s important to consider which eating regimen works for you as your nutritional needs change, says Lisa Jones, a registered dietitian based in Philadelphia.

In particular, women age 50 and above need to make sure they get enough of these nutrients:

  • B vitamins.
  • Calcium.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Protein.

These nutrients are important for women as they age for a variety of reasons, Fears says.

Vitamin B12 is a common deficiency due to age-related decrease in absorption. The vitamin is important for red blood cell production to help prevent anemia and aids in the function and development of brain and nerve cells.

As women hit menopause, the decline in estrogen and progesterone make it harder for calcium to be absorbed, which increases the risk of osteopenia (the loss of bone density that is associated with weaker bones) or osteoporosis (a condition in which bones become brittle or fragile). Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium, which is good for bone health, Fears says.

Protein is important for preserving muscle mass and for healthy cells. Protein helps fight against slow loss of muscle and helps keep up strength for healthy aging. Protein also aids in repair and maintenance of cells, making hormones and wound healing.

Protein needs can be met by consuming a variety of meat, poultry, fish, dairy and plant-based proteins, such as tofu and tempeh.

Best Diet Plans for Women Over 50

Given all these factors, these three diets could be good options for women age 50 and above:

  • DASH diet.
  • Mediterranean diet.
  • MIND diet.

DASH Diet

This acronym, which stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, is promoted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to prevent or stop hypertension, or high blood pressure. The DASH diet is a heart-healthy eating style, Smith says.

The DASH diet emphasizes:

  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  • Fruits.
  • Lean proteins (eggs, skinless chicken, lean meat, seafood).
  • Whole grains.
  • Vegetables.
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and foods with added sugars.

This eating regimen is low in saturated fat and sodium.

The DASH diet is high in these nutrients:

  • Calcium.
  • Fiber.
  • Magnesium.
  • Potassium.

Mediterranean Diet

This eating approach, which is naturally adopted by people who live in regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, is highly rated by many registered dietitians and is rated the top diet overall by U.S. News’ team of experts.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole foods, including:

  • Low-fat or no-fat dairy products.
  • Fish.
  • Lean protein (eggs, poultry, seafood, occasional servings of red meat).
  • Olive oil.
  • Nuts.
  • Seeds.

MIND Diet

The MIND diet is a plant-rich eating regimen that includes foods that research suggests help boost brain function, including:

  • All vegetables, especially dark, leafy green vegetables.
  • Beans.
  • Berries.
  • Fish.
  • Olive oil.
  • Whole grains.

Research suggests the MIND diet helps reduce the risks of dementia. For example, research published in January in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy followed more than 8,000 participants over a number of years. “Better adherence to the MIND diet is associated with a decreased risk of dementia within the first years of follow-up,” researchers wrote, adding that further research is needed to determine “to which extent the MIND diet may affect the risk of dementia.”

“Even those who follow the diet may only moderately experience a slower rate of mental decline,” Jones says.

Ewoldt suggests that women over 50 target three important nutrients to combat the most common changes caused by aging.

3 diet changes women over 50 should make right now

1. Calcium for bone health

Osteoporosis gets a fair amount of attention, and most older women understand that the risk of developing this bone disease increases with age. In fact, 1 in 3 women over 50 is at risk of a bone break caused by osteoporosis. Osteoporosis affects men, too, but not at such high rates.

“We absorb less calcium as we age, and some women’s ability to tolerate dairy — the best sources of calcium — also decreases as they get older,” Ewoldt says. “Dark leafy greens and calcium-fortified orange juice are other good sources.”

Women over 50 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily. Use the Nutrition Facts label on food products to keep track of your intake.

2. Protein for healthy muscle mass

Older women tend to sit more, exercise less. That compounds a natural aging process called sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass. By the time women near 80 years, they may have lost as much as half of their skeletal muscle mass. Eating enough protein reduces the impact of that muscle wasting.

“Healthy plant-based diets that don’t include meat, a major source of protein, can still provide plenty of protein if you make savvy choices,” says Ewoldt. He recommends choosing more soy, quinoa, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds and beans.

Your protein needs depend on how much you weigh. For women over 50, experts recommend 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of weight (1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds). If you weigh 140 pounds, for instance, you would need at least 63 grams of protein a day.

3. Vitamin B-12 for brain function

Ewoldt says that as women age, they absorb fewer nutrients from their food. One key nutrient they may not be absorbing enough of is vitamin B-12, which is essential for maintaining both healthy red blood cells and brain function.

“The best sources of vitamin B-12 are eggs, milk, lean meats, fish and fortified foods like cereals and grains,” says Ewoldt. “Vegans, in particular, will need to choose more fortified foods, but even elderly people who eat all foods may have difficulty absorbing enough vitamin B-12.”

While the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-12 for women over 50 is 2.4 micrograms a day, Ewoldt suggests you talk with your doctor to see if you also need a supplement.

Ewoldt offers three tips to help women over 50 get the nutrition they need.

  • Make whole foods the foundation of your diet. “Focusing on whole grains, fruits and veggies will help avoid a lot of common problems that come with age,” says Ewoldt.
  • Drink before you’re thirsty. The way your body detects thirst changes as you age. Says Ewoldt, “Make sure to drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Carry a water bottle, and drink a glass with every meal.”
  • Make an appointment with food. (And keep it.) Ewoldt often suggests that his clients create concrete plans that lay out exactly how they’ll get key nutrients. He adds, “Write the plan on a calendar. By simply making an ‘appointment’ with that apple, you’re more likely to eat it.”

How Turning 50 Affects Your Weight

From ages 30 to 60, you lose about 1/2 pound of muscle, but gain a pound of weight, each year. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so it helps boost your metabolism. As it diminishes, so does your metabolism — meaning that if you are still eating like you did in your 20s, you’re likely banking extra calories as fat.

Exercise can help you preserve lean muscle and increase your declining calorie-burn rate, but your children and parents are at ages that require extra care and time. Combine these obligations with a demanding job, and it’s tough to meet the 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise and two strength-training sessions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You’re also approaching menopause, which affects your hormones. As you age, your body fat percentage naturally increases, and, instead, of storing most of your weight in the hips and thighs, much of it reverts to the belly.

A Sample Nutritious Menu for Women Over 50

Using the 1,600-calorie meal plan above, a nutritious menu for women over 50 might look like this:

Breakfast

(1/2 cup of fruit, 1 ounce of whole grains, 2 ounces of protein, and 1 cup of dairy)

  • 2 scrambled eggs: 144 calories
  • 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal: 75 calories
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries: 42 calories
  • 1 cup of skim or soy milk: 80 calories

Total calories: 341 calories

Snack

(1 cup of fruit, 1 cup of dairy, and 1 teaspoon of oils)

  • 1 small banana: 90 calories
  • 1 container of non-fat Greek yogurt: 100 calories
  • 1/3 ounce of almonds: 54 calories

Total calories: 244

Lunch

(1 cup of vegetables, 2 ounces of whole grains, 2 ounces of protein, and 2 teaspoons of oils)

  • 1 cup of cooked whole-grain pasta: 181 calories
  • 2 ounces of grilled chicken: 84 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil: 80 calories
  • Seasonings of your choice: NA
  • 1 cup of cooked asparagus: 40 calories

Total calories: 385

Snack

(1 cup of dairy and 1 ounce of grains)

  • 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese: 163 calories
  • 2 large multigrain flax seed crackers: 80 calories

Total calories: 243

Dinner

(1 cup of vegetables, 1 ounce of whole grains, 2 ounces of protein, and 2 teaspoons of oils)

  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa: 111 calories
  • 2 ounces of grilled salmon: 104 calories
  • 1 cup of cooked broccoli: 55 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of oils: 80 calories

Total calories: 350

Grand daily total: 1,563 calories

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