The best options for a healthy and balanced diet to follow after the age of 50
Easy diet, 15 strategies to lose weight naturally
At every stage of our life we have different nutritional needs, and it is for this reason that we should calibrate our diet based on the needs that arise as they arise. After the age of 50, it is important to take care of your heart health and brain function. In addition, many women are looking for a way to alleviate the annoying symptoms of menopause in their diet. Let's find out which are the best diets.
The risk of developing heart problems increases with advancing age, which is why a good diet for women over 50 should take into account the need to protect heart health. From this point of view, the DASH diet has shown considerable effectiveness: the acronym stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and indicates the principle on which it is based, that is, the choice of foods that help keep blood pressure under control.
An important review, conducted on studies that analyzed the benefits of the DASH diet, highlighted its anti-hypertensive action. We know well how hypertension is one of the main risk factors for the onset of diseases such as heart attack and stroke, so adopting a diet aimed at reducing pressure has significant beneficial effects for the heart.
The diet involves the introduction of foods low in sodium and rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium, which counteract hypertension and have many other important properties for the proper functioning of our body. Recommended foods include fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish and white meats. It is better to reduce the quantities of red meats and sweets, as well as canned foods which are usually very salty.
The Mediterranean diet has always been one of the food models considered among the healthiest, thanks also to the variety of foods that it allows to bring to our tables. There are many studies that have shown its properties for our health, and in particular some have focused on the benefits for women in menopause. It is in fact in this period of life that nutritional needs change radically.
Research, published in Menopause, has found an important correlation between the adoption of this diet and a 30% reduction in the risk of overweight and post-menopausal obesity. As already mentioned, the Mediterranean diet is not particularly rigid and allows you to satisfy the palate without too many restrictions. Although it is mostly plant-based, moderate amounts of fish and red meats are allowed, as well as eggs and dairy products.
A perfect combination of the two diets analyzed so far has led to the development of the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), which supports brain function and protects against the onset of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of senile dementia. These diseases, which are closely related to advancing age, have a higher incidence in women.
A study, the results of which were published in Alzheimer's & Dementia, showed how adopting the MIND diet reduces the risk of developing senile dementia and slows cognitive decline. At its base we find foods such as whole grains, green leafy vegetables, legumes, olive oil and fatty fish: the latter are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have a strong protective action against the brain.
Have you ever heard of intuitive eating? It is a diet aimed at saying goodbye to the diet: no more restrictions, no forbidden foods to stay away from. The principles on which it is based allow to regain psychophysical well-being and to establish a good relationship both with our body and with what we eat. According to some dieters, in fact, following a restrictive diet for too long can lead to suffering from it on a psychological level – and consequently not having beneficial effects on the physical level.
The goal of intuitive nutrition is to learn to listen to the signals of our body: recognize the sense of hunger and the sense of satiety, so as to eat when we really need it without exceeding the quantities. A study published in Eating and Weight Disorders highlighted how this diet helps reduce the risk of developing disordered eating problems, such as emotional hunger.