What you put in your body today, matters tomorrow. If your diet consists largely of high calorie, low nutrition foods such as sugars, breads and Starbucks, it’s amazing that some very slight fixes to your diet will immediately amp up your energy and improve your mood. For women, a healthy diet will also boost their immunity, maintain their weight, clear up their skin, manage stress, make pregnancy and nursing easier, lessen symptoms of menopause, and keep them looking their best. Food choices play an integral role in how a woman feels as she enters different stages and ages in her life.
Whatever your age, sticking to a healthy diet will help you look and feel your best and live a longer, healthier and happier life. Easier said than done, right? After working an eight-hour day, commuting back and forth from your job, going to school, chasing and taking care of kids, cleaning the house, folding laundry, or managing other day-to-day necessities, sometimes the last thing you want to do is spend time cooking a healthy and nutritious meal for you or your family. But those great-tasting restaurant meals come at a price. They are high in calories, packed with empty carbohydrates, saturated with salt and can quickly add 3,500-plus calories into your daily food intake. Think you can order a salad to avoid those extra calories? Think again.
Committing to a healthy diet is a long-term commitment, but a necessary one for women looking to achieve optimal health. Balancing your diet and eating wholesome nutritious foods will also help balance your hormones, which is important when women enter perimenopause and menopause.
Give Sugar the Boot
Over the past two decades, obesity has taken over almost every state in the United States. Sugar is not the only culprit, but it plays a large role in the obesity equation, especially when you consider the prevalence of this white crystalline and addictive drug.
You can find sugar in more than 45,000 products commonly available in grocery stores. Sugar is hidden in the labels of processed foods with names like “high concentrated fructose corn syrup.” And most Americans eat their weight in sugar each year.
Not kicking sugar while engaging in an integrative metabolic medicine program to best manage the aging process is like painting a house before its foundation is complete. Few steps will make as big a difference in how you look and feel. Removing sugar from your diet will build a solid foundation for your health. Here are some ways to kick sugar out of your diet today:
- Eat fruit if you need something sweet
- Use Stevia (an herbal sweetener) if you need it for coffee or tea
- Knock off the sweets, like sodas and candy
- Avoiding highly refined flour products like white bread, white pasta and breakfast cereal
Helpful Nutrition Tips
- Eat at least three meals per day, especially breakfast. Women with busy schedules tend to skip breakfast and sometimes even lunch and end up eating a ridiculously large dinner. This is terrible. Your metabolism needs that jump start in the morning, which a good breakfast provides. Keep dinner nice and light. If you’re a dessert lover try to do desserts at lunch, rather than right before you go to bed.
- Eat protein at each meal. Make sure each meal you eat has a protein component. Eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, soy protein powder, whole soybeans, tofu or tempeh all fit the bill. Beans contain protein, but also bring you heavy carbs so avoid them if you are trying to shed unwanted pounds.
- Cut out or cut down on refined sugar. If you can, completely eliminate refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, white rice, bread, alcohol, and foods made with white flour, like muffins, bagels, pasta, pretzels. This will help your body burn stored fat and keep your insulin and blood sugar levels normal. If a complete elimination of refined sugars is out of the question cut your intake in half. You’ll see how good you feel and be motivated to go all the way!
- Consume whole grains in moderation. Yes, even whole grains can be bad for you. Eat them, but only in moderation.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Ideally five ½ cup servings per day. The more colorful the better. The most colorful foods contain the most powerful antioxidants. Think broccoli, green leafy vegetables, berries of all sorts, red, yellow and green peppers, and tomatoes.
- Eat only healthy fats. Essential fatty acids (EFA’s) specifically omega–3 and omega–6 fats are key to good health and happy hormones. If you can, get your EFA’s from eggs, flax seed, soybeans, nuts, and wild cold water fish. If not, supplements are widely available.
- Load up on the antioxidants. Antioxidants combat heart disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, and cancer, all diseases that tend to impact women as they age. They can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the brightly colored ones. Try to get your antioxidants from whole foods and use prescription quality supplements (available from an Ageology physician)
For more information on how you can get well, feel well and age well, contact an Ageology physician near you today.
Learn more about women’s health issues and how Ageology can help:
Read Ageology’s recent blog posts and library resources to learn more about women’s nutrition and integrative metabolic medicine:
- Eating Healthy While Eating Out (Part One)
- Eating Healthy While Eating Out (Part Two)
- Kick Sugar Out of Your Diet Today!