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A meno-menu: 6 simple instructions for a healthy diet

by Margery Gass | Sep 26, 2012
  • Do eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruit. Increasing intake of vegetables and fruits helps meet nutritional and fiber requirements without adding a substantial number of calories. A new study of fruit and veggie intake in midlife and older women shows that the antioxidants in these foods cut their risk of heart attack. Colorful fruits and vegetables tend to be the most nutritious.
  • Don’t add sugar or sweeteners to foods and beverages. Go for naturally sweet options such as fruit daily dietary goals for women at menopause suggest 1 1/2 servings of fruit per day. Keep in mind that many fruit juices are very high in calories. If you drink fruit juices, consider pouring them over a full glass of ice to dilute the calorie load while getting more fluid.
  • Do choose whole grains. While the optimal intake of grains (such as cereal, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta) is 5 to 6 oz, at least 3 oz should be whole grains and for good reason. According to a variety of health studies summarized by the Whole Grains Council, consuming whole grains can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and colorectal cancer, and can also help reduce weight. Yum!
  • Don’t aggravate hot flashes with possible food “triggers” such as spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine.
  • Do consume fish, especially oily fish such as salmon, at least twice a week. Two servings (about 8 oz) provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a decreased risk of sudden death and death from heart disease in adults.
  • Don’t reach for the salt shaker. Reducing sodium intake can prevent or help control high blood pressure.

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JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, NCMP
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