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Best Diet for Women at 50
Question: What's the best diet for a woman aged 50?
Answer from: Kathleen Zelman, R.D., nutrition expert
A healthy diet is the same at every age, but as we get older our metabolism starts to slow down. As a result, we may need to cut calories.
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Meet Kathleen Zelman, Nutrition Expert
Answering your questions about diet and nutrition
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD is a nutrition expert with more than 30 years of experience helping people eat better. For years, Kathleen has spread the word about good nutrition as a radio host, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and as an award-winning nutrition journalist. She has been recognized by the Academy and the American Society for Nutrition for her work in translating scientific recommendations into user-friendly advice that motivates people to lead healthier lifestyles.
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UHC TV For Health and Happiness Ask the Expert Kathleen Zelman, Nutrition Expert (Kathleen Zelman in her kitchen) (Kathleen Zelman) One of our viewers wants to know what's the best diet for a woman aged fifty? Well it's really not too much different from the diet of a twenty or a thirty year or forty year old, the difference is as we get older, our metabolism starts to get slow down. And as a result of that, we need fewer calories. So unless you're in the gym and you're doing strength training, and building up that muscle mass, chances are, you need fewer calories than you did when you were younger. But the basic diet is still a good healthy diet. The only changes that occur are as you age, at about age fifty, you need more vitamin B twelve because your body doesn't use it quite as effectively. So that's especially important if you're a vegetarian because B twelve is only found in animal products. So you might need a supplement for B twelve. But in general, your nutritional needs are not much different than what they were ten years ago. Where the difference is the number of calories. So in order to maintain your body weight, you might need to shave calories. Most women about age fifty are going to probably be somewhere in the sixteen to eighteen calorie range, unless they're really active. And the more active you are, the more you can eat. So, the diet, the cautionary details about the diet you need to watch the sodium, because most woman at that age group only need about fifteen-hundred milligrams of sodium. And I know that's a number that you may not relate to, but it just means we need to turn down the volume on sodium. So most of the sodium in our diets come from the pantry and processed foods. Not necessarily the salt shaker. So watch the sodium, watch the sugar. Because sugars is where we get extra calories, and as well as fats. And the kinds of fats that are of concern are saturated fats, trans fats, and the unhealthy fats. So watch the amount of fat, watch the amount of sugar, trim the calories in your diet, but focus on the healthy aspects. The foundation of the diet should be fruits and vegetables whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, all those things are really good for you. And go to myplate.gov, and there you can input your activity level and your age, sex and you can develop a very specific plan so you can see exactly what you should be eating. But in general it's a good healthy diet with watching the calories and make sure those nutrients come first. And as a registered dietician I always like to advocate for a once daily vitamin or minerals supplement because that can help you fill in the nutritional gaps. It's not meant to take the place of any food, I'd rather see you eating calcium and vitamin D rich dairy instead of taking a supplement, but sometimes you might not get enough or might have some intolerance, that warrants that supplement. So, a good healthy diet, a plate filled with fruits and vegetables and whole grains and lean meat and low fat dairy, and watch your calories, and you'll be good to go. UnitedHealthcare