Diet and Nutrition for Women over 40..

Fish Intake

Heart disease risk is likely to rise after menopause, so you should try to eat at least two servings of fish per week (preferably those with healthy fats like salmon or trout).

Slim down

Slimming down not only reduces the risks of heart disease and breast cancer, both of which go up after menopause,  but new research shows that it may also help obese or overweight women cut down on hot flashes.

Take Care of Your Bones

Your calcium needs go up after age 50, from 1,000 milligrams per day to 1,200 mg.  Doctors believe with less estrogen on board, your bones don’t absorb calcium as well.
If you’re eating dairy, choose low-fat products. These have roughly the same amount of calcium as their full-fat counterparts, but with fewer calories.

Soy is Ok

Soy contains plant estrogens, so many women think it can increase their breast cancer risk. However, there is little data to support this. The misconception likely comes from studies of high-dose soy supplements, which may stimulate the growth of estrogen-sensitive tumors.
Soy foods like tofu, soy nuts, and soy milk may offer relief from mild hot flashes and are not thought to increase breast cancer risk. “Women in Japan have the highest soy intake and the lowest risk of breast cancer, but Japanese women who move to the U.S. and eat less soy have a higher risk,” says research.

Fiber is your friend

The days of gorging without gaining weight are over. And as your metabolism slows around age 40, eating fewer calories can boost health. But you should also make sure to get adequate fiber and fluids. Make sure the calories that you are decreasing come from things like sweets, but we keep those high-fiber foods in the diet, and we also make sure we meet our fluid needs. That’s really important. Make sure that our daily eating plan is packed full of nutrient-dense food, like lean protein, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy and whole grains.

 

Concerns about Becoming a Vegan

Vegan diets, when planned properly, are healthy and can even lower the risk of certain diseases, according to the American Dietetic Association. They can be appropriate for individuals in all stages of life, including infancy, childhood, pregnancy and lactation. It is important to note, however, that there is a risk of being deficient in certain nutrients if the vegan diet is not carefully planned. People who adhere to strict vegan diets are at risk for less than adequate intakes of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, zinc, iodine and vitamins D and B-12.

Because animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, fish and fowl are among the best sources of protein, vegans can sometimes lack sufficient protein in their diets. The American Dietetic Association, however, believes that protein requirements can be met if a variety of plant proteins are consumed, such as peas, beans, ect.

Though vegan diets can lack sufficient amounts of omega-3 due to the restriction of omega-3-rich foods, including eggs, fish and other seafood. The omega-3 fatty acids found in animal sources can also be found in  plant foods rich in omega-3, such as flaxseed. Vegans can purchase soy milk and breakfast bars fortified with DHA, as well as DHA supplements. Sources containing DHA are sufficient for vegan diets.

Vitamin D is important for bone health, and low levels have been linked to reduced bone mass. Sunlight exposure is best source of vitamin D. Many people vegan or not lack vitamin D.  People who do not get regular sun exposure need to consume dietary vitamin D through either fortified foods or supplements, since vitamin D occurs naturally in very few foods. Vegan sources of vitamin D that are often fortified include soy milk, rice milk and orange juice.

Lack of vitamin B-12 is one of the biggest concerns with vegan diets, especially because vegan diets do not have it. Severe B-12 deficiencies can result in both anemia and dementia, notes Harvard Medical School. So, if you’re a vegan, be sure to consume B-12 fortified foods such as soy and rice beverages and breakfast cereals, or supplements.

In conclusion, a vegan diet, is like every other diet. It needs to be carefully planned out. We are not free to just eat whatever we please and be healthy. Vegan diets are and can be a successful way to have good lasting health.

Vegan Delights

Ingredients

1 cup roasted coconut

1 cup pitted dates

1 tbs. olive oil

1 cup vegan chocolate

 

Directions:

  1. Pulse together dates, coconut and oil until a ball forms.
  2. Form cookies and use a straw to poke holes in the middle.
  3. Put the cookies on wax paper.
  4. Place in the freezer for 2hrs.
  5. Melt the chocolate after the 2hrs, and dip the cookies in it.
  6. Place on wax paper.
  7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy

Vitamin Supplements vs. Actual Food

Vitamins and minerals in supplements are synthetic forms of the nutrients. The word “synthetic” doesn’t necessarily mean inferior, however. Even those supplements that claim to have “natural” ingredients contain some synthetic ingredients. Therefore, if a pill contained only natural ingredients, it would be huge.

It is generally best to get your vitamins (as well as minerals) naturally from foods or, in the case of vitamin D, controlled sun exposure.  For example, recent research on the mineral calcium suggests that it is safest to get your calcium from foods that are naturally rich in calcium than from supplements.

Exceptions to the “foods are better” rule are two B vitamins. Ten to thirty percent of older people don’t properly digest and absorb natural vitamin B-12 from foods, so it is recommended to get B-12 from a supplement if you are over age 50.

Supplements aren’t intended to substitute for food. They can’t replicate all of the nutrients and benefits of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Whole foods offer three main benefits over dietary supplements:

  • Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs.
  • Essential fiber. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber. As part of a healthy diet, fiber can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
  • Protective substances. Many whole foods are also good sources of antioxidants — substances that slow down a natural process leading to cell and tissue damage. It isn’t clear that antioxidant supplements offer the same benefits as antioxidants in food. Some high-dose antioxidant supplements have been associated with health risks.

source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/supplements/art-20044894

 

Kids and Nutrition

As a parent one the most important duties we have to our children is to make sure they receive adequate nutrition from the foods they eat. Nutrition is essential for kids because proper nutrition helps prevent illness and disease, and affects their growth, development and learning. Eating the right food promotes a better quality of life because when kids feel good physically, they’re able to take part in the activities they enjoy. They are able to learn and have better mental clarity.

Everyone needs the same types of nutrients — such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Children, however, need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. We need to educate our children and ourselves about proper nutrition.

  • Protein. Choose seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Fruits. Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruits — rather than fruit juice.
  • Vegetables. Serve a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried vegetables. Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas
  • Grains. Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice.
  • Dairy. Encourage your child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese

Limit your child’s calories from:

  • Added sugar. Limit added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit and milk, are not added sugars.
  • Saturated and trans fats. Limit saturated fats

 

Nutrition

Sample label for Macaroni and Cheese

Source: https://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm#see1