As you age, your metabolism slows. Dietary needs change from decade to decade, too. According to Health.com, women in their 50s can lose as much as 30 percent of bone mass in the 10 years following menopause and should take in 1,600 calories a day to control weight. The Decade Diet understands a woman’s diet needs with age, and some people think it is the best diet for women over 55 due to its customization for that age group.
Health and Women over 55
If you are over 55 your body changes due to menopause. Lack of estrogen makes it harder to keep fat off your middle and can weaken bones. You also absorb less calcium from the food you eat. Women older than 55 shoudl eat more foods with calcium and vitamin D for improved bone health. Women should also reduce the amount of sodium in their diet and eat foods rich in fiber to prevent constipation and high cholesterol.
Women over 55 should keep away from processed and junk foods and eat more wholesome, healthy foods that balance the body. Fiber intake should be increased with foods like whole grains, nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables and beans. Healthy fats should always consist of foods such as olive oil, fish, sardines, salmon, fresh tuna, and avocado. A fish oil supplement will also give an extra boost of omega-3 fats.
The Decade Diet
The Decade Diet is a customized low-fat diet for women based on a woman’s particular age group, prepared by health expert and nutritionist Linda Foster. Foster says “there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan that works for life unfortunately, because the way our bodies’ process food changes pretty much every decade.”
For women 55 and older the diet consists of eating oats, fruits, vegetables and whole meal breads. The basic low-fat diet plan suggests specific foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Recommended morning foods are whole grains such as whole meal toast and whole-grain cereals that include low-fat proteins like poached egg, peanut butter or a handful of almonds. A smoothie can be prepared made from semi-skim milk, a handful of strawberries and a half banana. Grilled tomatoes or fat-free yogurt is also recommended additions for breakfast.
To limit calories during lunch, you can use an olive-oil-lemon mixture and avoid extra cheese when preparing meals. A tuna salad wrap on a whole meal pita is recommended or California sushi rolls plus lentil soup and low-fat yogurt.
Healthy dinner recommendations are a small lean grilled steak or veggie chili with kidney beans, mushrooms, carrots, red peppers, and tomatoes served with brown rice or stir-fried chicken with vegetables, soy sauce and egg noodles. Baked cod with basil leaves, tomato, served with steamed broccoli or asparagus is also recommended.
Any piece of fruit, handful of olives, two oatcakes, low-fat plain yogurt or handful of mixed nuts are elective snacks on the diet.
The Decade Diet also recommends exercising regularly. Power-walking is suggested three to four times per week for 45 minutes.