Dietary Recommendations for Aging Women
“You are what you eat,” or so the saying goes, and modern-day American dietary standards are responsible for a largely overweight and unhealthy population. According to statistics by the CDC, over 45 percent of American adults suffer from obesity, and childhood obesity rates also continue to rise.
While an unhealthy diet is certainly one of the main culprits of the obesity crisis sweeping across the country, other health problems are also a direct consequence of the industrial food system and a national diet characterized by processed and refined foods, high cholesterol intake, and loads of sugar and saturated fats.
Below, we look at some of the most important dietary recommendations specific for women who are aging close to retirement age. The good news is that even if you have had a bad diet for dozens of years, the effects of converting to a healthier diet are almost immediate and will yield both short term and long term health benefits.
Stay Away from the Saturated Fats
Heart health is important throughout our lives, but it should be a major concern or seniors and everyone who is over the age of 50. While a heart attack could occur at any time during our lives, the probability of suffering from a potentially fatal heart disease increases significantly in our later years.
Saturated fats and trans fats are some of the most common in our modern-day diet, and they are also those types of fats that are most directly responsible for increasing blood cholesterol and thus leading to heart attacks.
On the other hand, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are actually good for your body, offering several health benefits while also lowering your cholesterol and the probability of suffering from heart disease.
One simple dietary change that all older women should make is to radically reduce the amount of fried and fatty foods in their diet. Using olive oil for cooking instead of butter, margarine, or other oils will also improve your overall health.
Low-Fat Dairy for Stronger Bones
After going through menopause, the probability of women suffering from osteoporosis increases dramatically. In fact, women can lose about 20% of their bone mass in the five to seven year period that follows the onset of menopause. One way to keep your bones strong and healthy is to eat a diet that is high in calcium.
Leafy greens are a healthy way to get the calcium you need, but if you are getting tired of eating kale and spinach on a daily basis, low-fat dairy products will also deliver your body the needed amount of calcium for optimum bone strength. Since whole dairy products can raise your cholesterol, it is best to opt for three daily servings of low fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cream
While a healthy, diversified diet that is high in calcium will certainly help keep your bones strong, taking a multivitamin for women is also a great way to keep your body healthy. Make sure to find a multivitamin that has a high amount of calcium.
Keep the Spice in Your Meal
As people age, their sense of smell and taste can gradually wane. While this might seem like a minor inconvenience, it can actually cause a loss of appetite and lead to issues related to malnutrition when people are simply not eating often enough.
If you find that your favorite soup, salad, or pasta doesn’t quite taste the same anymore, try using new spices and herbs when you cook. Better yet, grow your own herb garden either in a backyard garden or in pots on your windowsills. Not only will you get some needed exercise tending to the plants, but the healthy herbs that you grow on your own might make meals more appetizing.