Contrary to popular beliefs, dieting is not only about losing weight. Changing the eating pattern as per your body’s requirement can help you stay healthy and prevent you from chronic diseases.

For women, it is even more essential to pay attention to their dietary habits to gracefully transit into later stages of life. From menopause to slow metabolism, several changes take place in a woman’s body in the late 40s and 50s. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet at this stage of life becomes increasingly important.

There are many diet options, but not all of them are good for health. The right diet is the one that is easy to follow, adaptable, well-balanced and not very restrictive. Here 5 diets that are proven to be best for women over 50.

Mediterranean diet

This diet is the best of all for dealing with a range of health problems and even maintaining a healthy weight. Named as the best overall diet of 2020 for the fourth consecutive year, the Mediterranean diet is all for eating more fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil.

Dairy products are consumed in moderation and meat is included in the diet weekly. One-third of the diet consists of fat, with saturated fats not exceeding 8 per cent of the total calorie intake. It is based on the traditional eating pattern of Mediterranean countries like Spain, France, Greece and Italy.

DASH Diet

The DASH diet has been named as the second overall best diet of 2020. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, is an eating plan designed particularly to help treat or prevent high blood pressure. As we all know that with the onset of menopause, the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure significantly increases. To manage the symptoms there is nothing better than this diet.

This eating pattern emphasizes foods rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are known to control high blood pressure. This diet recommends specific servings of different food groups, which depends on the person’s daily calorie intake. It mainly comprises vegetables, fruit, and low-fat dairy, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, and poultry.

Paleo diet

The paleo diet resembles the eating pattern of what human hunter-gatherer ancestors ate thousands of years ago. It is a high-protein, low carb diet plan in which the focus is on including eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts, and unprocessed meat. As per experts, eating a low carb diet can be beneficial for women dealing with insulin resistance in their 50s.

The diet does not include grains, legumes, potatoes, dairy foods, processed foods, refined sugar, or salt. But if you do not plan this diet carefully then it can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

The vegan or vegetarian diet

Both the diet focuses on plant-based food products. Animal products are completely restricted. Vegan is the strictest form of vegetarianism. In this diet, apart from restricting meat, people even abstain from having dairy products and eggs.

Studies suggest that following a vegan or vegetarian diet can prevent certain diseases like heart disease, cancers, and Type 2 diabetes. The only downside of this diet is that it may be low in several nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, iron, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Flexitarian diet

The Flexitarian diet is a semi-vegetarian diet plan that focuses more on plant-based food products and occasionally includes animal-based products like meat and fish. It’s more flexible than fully vegetarian or vegan diets and is a good way to include more fiber in the diet.

Following this diet can help you overcome the deficiency of iron and omega-3s, which cannot be full-filled by following a vegan or vegetarian diet. This diet also tends to be higher in calcium, an important nutrient required to prevent osteoporosis, which is common with age. Studies suggest that this diet can even help to maintain a healthy weight, heart health, and prevent Type 2 diabetes.

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