We all tend to gain weight as we age due to decreased activity and loss of muscle mass. Unfortunately, we find the calorie counts that worked for us when we were younger are likely too high as we get older.
Additionally, for menopausal women, a decrease in estrogen leads to a shift of fat to the mid-section. This “belly fat” obesity has been linked to serious health conditions such as certain cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Following a Mediterranean-style diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes, fish and low-fat dairy—combined with regular physical activity—can help you maintain a healthy weight. And eating a diet high in vegetables and fruits has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer and other cancers.
Bone loss in women begins at about age 35, accelerates in the 4-5 years around menopause, and continues as we age. In order to prevent osteoporosis, it is essential that all women, but especially midlife women, consume adequate dietary calcium, vitamin D (important for calcium absorption) and exercise regularly. For women over 50, the recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1200 mg – about 2- 3 servings of calcium-rich food. Talk with your health care provider about your diet to determine if you might benefit from a calcium and/or vitamin D supplement.