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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Eat Right For Your Age - 50's

Watch your fat levels...
Health problems, such as raised cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are more common in this age group. A low-fat, low-GI diet which includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, is the best way to prevent and treat these problems.
As women enter the menopause, they are affected in different ways. Consequences such as a decline in libido, osteoporosis and heart disease are all linked to the decline in oestrogen levels that accompany the menopause. This accelerates the loss of calcium from bone, which increases the risk of osteoporosis or brittle bones. To counteract this, it's important to eat at least three servings of low-fat, calcium-rich foods each day.
There seems to be an absence of menopausal symptoms, in countries in the Far East where diets are naturally rich in phytoestrogens found in soya. Genetics and environmental factors play a huge part in how our bodies react to certain foods, so as yet we can’t say whether a diet rich in phytoestrogenic foods is beneficial to women going through the menopause or not but it could be worth a try if you are really struggling.
Smoking and being inactive can severely harm your bones, and it’s particularly important on the exercise side to include some weight bearing exercise such as brisk walking, jogging or aerobics. Aim for a combination of weight-bearing exercise and aerobic activity to help to keep bones and joints strong. Toning and muscle development can increase metabolic rate as muscle mass increases help to keep our weight constant.
Continue to drink a couple of litres of water every day and watch caffeine consumption. Caffeine can interfere with the amount of calcium we absorb.
If you don't eat at least one serving of oil-rich fish each week, you should also think about taking an omega-3 supplement.
Prawn & grapefruit salad
What should I be eating?
Mediterranean diet - It is a good idea to try to get the ratio of good (HDL) and bad (LDL) sorts of cholesterol right. The Mediterranean diet is based around lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, both colours and types to obtain a spectrum of heart friendly vitamins and minerals. Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked. If you have high cholesterol, you could try swapping to a butter-like spread rich in plant stanols or sterols which can help lower cholesterol levels.
Watch the fat – as we age, our body’s energy requirement decreases. Body fat gets deposited when we take in too many calories and don’t burn up enough in our everyday life. Include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from nuts, seeds and their oils instead of too much saturated fat.
Phytoestrogens - Soya based foods such as soya milk, soya yoghurt, tofu, miso and temph may help reduce some of the unpleasant symptoms associated with the menopause. Eating 25g of soya protein a day can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Use tofu instead of chicken in stir-fries and pour calcium-enriched soya milk on your cereal. If soya isn’t your thing, other sources of phytoestrogens include lentils, beansprouts, peanuts, linseeds and sweet potatoes.
Omega-3 fats – Aim to eat three portions of omega-3 rich foods a week as these can help and keep bones and heart healthy. Remember canned fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel rather than canned tuna.



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