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A Woman's Nutritional Needs In Her 50s

You need even more calcium at menopause (1,200 mg. while women over 70 need 1,500 mg.) when bone loss accelerates sharply. Coffee seems to interfere with calcium and bone-building.

According to the American Dietetic Association, each cup of coffee removes the calcium in one teaspoon of milk.

What's more, soy foods are loaded with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, calcium, fiber and carotenoids and flavonoids. Soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a "complete" protein profile. FDA has determined that diets with four daily soy servings can reduce levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), the so-called "bad cholesterol" that builds up in blood vessels, by as much as 10 percent.

Further, studies show that folate and B-6 reduce coronary heart disease in women. Nuts, particularly walnuts, have been shown to protect against heart disease.

The AHA stresses that a diet to effectively lower cholesterol, a main contributor to heart disease, should consist of no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat or 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.

After Menopause

It's especially important to be well-nourished to meet the challenges of heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes. At all stages of life, a multi-vitamin supplement may help meet your nutritional needs, relieve your symptoms, and help you feel your best.