Linda Melone
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5 Best foods for women over 50

Pop quiz: What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Even when you think you’re eating healthy, digging around in the back can reveal surprising things such as…

  1. An expired carton of eggs circa 2016
  2. Eight pounds of salad
  3. A bottle of fish oil capsules you bought and forgot about completely

Or maybe that’s just me.

Here’s the thing. When it comes to bad habits, you can quit smoking, give up gambling and forgo alcohol.

In extreme instances (see last week’s post), you can even allegedly live without coffee. Although I beg to differ.

But food? Gotta have it, at least in some form if you want to remain in the game of life.

Back in the day, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, we had little choice. If you were hungry, you’d pack up your bow and arrow, stick some leaves and twigs in your hair, and head out into the forest. 

If you didn’t become a T-Rex’s meal, you had a shot at bringing home the bacon, so to speak.

Or at least a handful of edible berries.

Today, the chase has become significantly easier. Instead of hunting down berries you can either go into Whole Foods and buy the same pack of wild grown fruits for the bargain basement price of $15.

Better yet, get them delivered straight to your door for the same price plus a service charge of $10 on top of a $15 delivery charge. This brings the grand total to $40 for a handful of organic raspberries, which still beats ending up in a dinosaur’s digestive tract.

Regardless.

On most days, the biggest danger we face is being rear-ended by a texting teenager before we reach the grocery store.

That aside, what should we women over 50 stock up on and why?

Great question, thanks for asking. And yes, I answer myself in real life most of the time, too.

Let’s start with what’s NOT on the list:

  1. Pop Tarts
  2. Nutella
  3. Donuts

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s focus on what would be ideal to find in that frig and pantry…

1. Raspberries (and high fiber fruit)

Yes, these little suckers can be a bit pricey, but they contain one of the highest levels of fiber among all fruit, surprisingly enough. I don’t know if it’s the little nooks and crannies or tiny seeds, but at 8 gms a cup, they beat out apples, pears, bananas and just about every other fruit. Toss ’em in yogurt or on top of salads, if you’re a real rebel.

Fiber not only helps with digestion, but research shows a high-fiber diet can even help you lose weight. Non-fruit fiber sources include legumes, oatmeal, popcorn and whole grains.

Aim for 25 grams daily.

2. Salmon (and other lean protein)

Omega-3s may be the closest thing to a one-stop ageless mind and body food out there, and salmon is chock full of the stuff. Omega-3 fatty acids perform a multitude of duties, including helping reduce heart attack risks such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

If you’re not a fan of salmon, strive for other lean protein such as skinless chicken or vegetable protein such as soy, although these won’t have the same omega-3 levels of salmon. Aim for about 20 gms of protein per meal — and include protein in snacks as well.

Why? Protein keeps you full longer and boosts your metabolism. Can’t argue with that.

3. Greek yogurt

In olden days we used to shun plain yogurt for its tart aftertaste. Greek yogurt is not only higher in protein than other, traditional, yogurts, but it’s considerably smoother and less “tangy.” Go with fat-free or low-fat and stir in berries for a great, simple, high-protein snack or light breakfast.

After 50 we’re at a higher risk of bone loss, so calcium in dairy is crucial, as well as vitamin D. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,200 mg of calcium daily for women over 50, but check with your doctor. Other good dairy foods include low-fat milk and cheeses or dark leafy greens such as kale and broccoli, if you’re lactose intolerant.

 

4. Nuts

Oh, wait, aren’t these high-calorie? Yup, if you pour them into a bowl and eat them like a bowl of Froot Loops.

But in small doses — an ounce, at approximately 160 calories — you get a lot of bang for your buck as far as snacks go. Plus, research shows nuts don’t seem to add up to poundage as you may think.

In fact, a five-year study showed people who ate nuts lost more weight than those who abstained — and were less likely to become overweight.

They also contain protein fiber, vitamin E, minerals, and antioxidants. Ideally, you want the unsalted, raw versions.

5. Water

Okay, technically not a “food,” but considering we’d die without it, water is pretty important. Problem is, most of us walk around slightly dehydrated. Even a small level of dehydration (1 to 3%) can affect your hunger mechanism (you think you’re hungry but you’re really in need of fluid), mental concentration, energy levels, and skin, among other things. Strive for the recommended 9 to 11 cups a day (for more info, check out my article in Health.com on the subject HERE).

YOUR TURN! So what’s in YOUR refrigerator? Let’s chat… leave a comment down below.

Other posts you may enjoy:

How to stop eating at night

5 ways to eat less without cutting calories

Should you eat before your workout?

Your Ageless Body Coach,

 

 

About the Author Linda Melone

Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.

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Leave a Comment:

Denise Ross says

Keifer – If I’m really craving ice cream or a milkshake I reach for the Strawberry Keifer. About 2/3’s cup and I drink it with a straw. It’s thick and creamy and fills me up fast, plus it gives me a nice dose of probiotics!

Love your posts Linda!

Reply
    Linda Melone says

    Great tip, Denise! Thanks :).

    Reply
Karen says

Having trouble submitting my comments.

Reply
    Linda Melone says

    Hey Karen, you just did it! 🙂

    Reply
Denise Fordyce says

Lots of tinned fruit in juice. My husband, post gastrectomy (cancer) finds it easier to eat than fresh. Lactose free milk, same reason. Lots of veggies because I like them. Fresh fruit ditto. Few different salad dressings, all low sodium. Couple of different yoghurts. You actually prompted me to go and have a look! Don’t buy crap, you won’t have crap to eat.

Reply
    Linda Melone says

    lol! So true, Denise. Out of house, out of mind :).

    Reply
Risa says

My secret weapon is oat bran for breakfast. I add 1 T ground flax, 1 T nuts, 1/2 cup blueberries and about 1 cup Greek yogurt. Filling and very satisfying, plus I can take oatbran along for travel.

Reply
    Linda Melone says

    Love it! Sounds awesome.

    Reply
Debbie Lohmann says

Eggs bacon carrotts celery apples oranges milk water sharp cheese thats whats in my frig

Reply
    Linda Melone says

    Sounds like a good balance, Debbie. 🙂

    Reply
wsegur says

About the raspberries … at 8gm per cup, 25 gm per day comes to – 3 CUPS OF RASPBERRIES PER DAY!!! YIKES! That’ll keep the raspberry industry going. And your bowels. And a couple of … oh, never mind.

Reply
    Linda Melone says

    I didn’t say you had to get ALL your fiber from one source! lol

    Reply
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