Women's Nutrition Tips

Read these 29 Women's Nutrition Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Womens Fitness tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I cut down on the amount of shopping and cooking I do and still eat a variety of nutritious meals?

Team Up For Better Nutrition

Eating healthy can be time consuming. Enlisting the help of a friend can be a smart solution to the time crunch. Working together, you can come up with healthy snack recipes, divide the labor and shopping and keep each other on track. Here are some great ideas you can use to work together:

  • Discuss your likes and dislikes when it comes to food so that you know what you have in common.
  • Do your menu planning together. Come up with creative recipes and plan to split meals so that there is more variety for both of you. This can help keep costs down while providing a larger selection of foods.
  • Mix and match snacks. After you go to the grocery store, divide up the healthy snacks with your friend so that you have more to choose from during the week.
  • Try cooking together. This can be a fun way to make healthy meals. You can always freeze extra portions if you make a lot of food.
  • Take turns doing the grocery shopping. This can help cut down on the overall time you spend on meals.
  • Make a master list of things you would like to find healthy recipes for and keep an eye out for them when flipping through magazines.
When it comes to menu planning, teaming up can be a great way to save on time and money. It can also be a smart way to cook nutritious meals while providing a good selection of dishes for two households.

   
What are some healthy strategies for eating out?

Healthy Strategies For Eating Out

Eating out can be a lot of fun, but it can also mean large portion sizes and unhealthy menu items. There are some things you can do that will keep you on your diet plan. Choose from some of the following strategies and you can still enjoy your dining experience while eating healthy:

  • Select a healthy menu item. Some restaurants point out healthy recipes for customers, but if not you can always opt for a salad with low calorie dressing. Lean meats that are broiled and served with vegetables are another good choice.
  • Plan ahead. Have a small, healthy snack before you go so you are not starving when you arrive.
  • Check the menu out on the Internet if you can and decide what you are having before you go.
  • Ask for a “to go” container and box up half the meal before you begin eating. Most restaurant servings are very large, so you can have your leftovers the next day.
  • Share a meal with a friend instead of eating it yourself. This is a good strategy for desserts as well.
  • Be careful at the salad bar. While it can be a healthy choice, make sure you don't add a lot of high calorie extras, such as cheese, olives and heavy, creamy dressings.
  • Pass on beverages and just have water. Save the calories for the meal.
  • Ask for low fat preparations, such as egg white omelets.
  • Subtract the cheese, bacon, mayonnaise and other high fat items from sandwiches.

   
What are some examples of the recommended food portion sizes?

Portion Sizes

Healthy eating is all about portion sizes and moderation. You can plan out all the healthy food recipes you like, but if you eat too many calories, you will gain weight.

The recommended portion sizes are typically much smaller than people realize. Here are some examples of what makes up one serving of certain foods:

  • Cheese: 1 1/2 oz; approximately the size of your thumb.
  • Cookies: 2 medium sized treats.
  • Apple: 1 medium; about the size of your fist.
  • Meat: One serving is the size of a deck of cards.
  • Pasta: One serving is the size of a scoop of ice cream.
  • Steamed rice: One serving is the size of a cupcake wrapper.
  • Chips: One serving is approximately enough to fit in your cupped hand.
Surprised? Many people think of a serving size as larger than it actually is. Employing simple tools such as measuring cups can help you get the amounts right. Also, try looking on the nutrition label to see what the recommended serving size is before eating a particular item. It may help put things in perspective.

When you start to get an idea of what the serving sizes actually are, it will become easier to know if you are eating too much. This can help you adjust both your meals and snacks so that you are eating in moderation. Scaling back portion sizes is also a smart way to reduce your overall calorie intake.

   
What is a food log and how can it help in diet planning?

Food Logs

Plan diet strategies that work by using food logs as a tool. Food logs help you to keep track of everything you eat over the course of a day. Being aware of this information can help you see your relationship with food and evaluate strong and weak areas.

There are many different ways to log your food intake. Some people like to use a notebook and simply record things they eat as they go throughout the day. Others prefer to use tools that are available on the Internet. You can use whatever system you are comfortable with. Hang the sheet on the refrigerator to help you remember to log food items as you go during the day. Write down every bite of food so that you can begin to see your eating patterns. Do you eat too much in the evening? Do you have a tendency to skip breakfast? Food logs can help you zone in on the times of day when you typically have some difficulty. This will help you plan ahead to combat your cravings before they get started.

The food log is a tool often used by professionals in the health and fitness industry. You can employ this same tool and use it to your advantage. After a few weeks of recording meals and snacks, you should be able to get an overall picture of your relationship with food.

   
Is there such a thing as "diet fitness"?

Diet Fitness?

Is there such a thing as "diet fitness?" While the term itself may not be in popular use, the idea is certainly a valid one. After all, good nutrition contributes to the body's overall fitness level, and it is the fuel that we run on when exercising.

A "fit" diet is one that incorporates a variety of healthy foods and limits those that are high in things such as fat and sugar. Fresh fruits and vegetables as well as plenty of water can help the body stay in balance. Eating a variety of foods can also help ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals.

There are some resources that can help you build a healthy diet plan. One of the best ones you can use is MyPyramid; the food guide developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The information given through the pyramid concept can help you understand what a truly balanced diet looks like.

Registered Dietitians (RD) are health care professionals that can help you plan a healthy diet based on your specific needs and lifestyle. The services of these professionals can be very useful for people who have any health conditions that require specific diet plans, such as those with diabetes or heart disease. RDs can also be a good resource for pregnant women who are looking to make healthy eating choices without gaining excess weight during pregnancy.

   
What are the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast?

Healthy Breakfasts

Studies performed by the Mayo Clinic have confirmed what most of us already know: There are many benefits to eating a healthy breakfast. The researchers discovered that people who ate a healthy breakfast consumed more vitamin and mineral rich foods throughout the day. They also had better concentration and productivity. It gets better. People who ate a healthy breakfast had lower cholesterol, and had any easier time controlling their weight.

To get the most health benefits from your breakfast, be sure to choose one food from each of the following food groups.

  • Fruits: Oranges or grapefruit for breakfast are a great source of Vitamin C.
  • Grains: Whole grain foods such as cereals or whole grain breads can provide energy throughout the day.
  • Dairy: Choose low-fat products such as low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese.
  • Protein: Hard boiled eggs have far less fat than scrambled eggs.

   
Please suggest some low calorie snacks?

Healthy Between-Meal Snacks

So now that we have given you the okay to eat between meals, what should you eat. Here are some low-calorie snacks that will keep you energetic throughout the day, while they satisfy your hunger:

  • Whole Grain snacks, such as crackers and whole grain breads are high in fiber and carbohydrates.
  • Fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, oranges, bananas, carrots and snow peas not only satisfy your hunger: They are great for your skin and hair!
  • Air Popped Popcorn: Although popcorn does not have an impressive nutrients, provided that you do not smother it was butter, it is low in calories and extremely filling.

   
Is it okay to eat between meals?

News Flash: Healthy Snacking is Good for You!

Ideas about healthy eating have certainly changed since the 1950s! Once upon a time, mothers all over the world used to tell their kids not to eat between meals. Now we've discovered that snacking is actually good for you! Who knew?

Consider the following scenario: It's 11:30 AM, and you are extremely hungry. Today, the boss has planned a big lunch at the local buffet restaurant. That's the good news. The bad news is that lunch is not until 2:00 PM. do you:

  1. Wait until 2:00 and then binge on everything at the buffet?
  2. Grab a low calorie snack, and then enjoy a normal meal at the buffet.
If you answered B, good for you! Snacking is a great way to prevent the binge eating that always leads to weight gain. Snacking has another important benefit: it helps you maintain a higher energy level throughout the day.

   
What is the purpose of antioxidants?

Foods for Healthy Skin

One of the most important side benefits of a healthy diet is its effect on your skin. In fact, for many women, their skin is a direct reflection of the type of foods they are putting into their bodies. Although there are many excellent products that can improve your skin from the outside in, for best results, it behooves you to use nutrition to improve your skin from the inside out. These are some of the best foods for creating healthy, glowing skin:

  • Water: Drinking eight glasses of water a day are essential for keeping your skin young and hydrated.
  • Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights the free radical that can cause breakouts, sun damage, etc.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil helps maintain the skin's moisture and elasticity
  • Avocado: Avocados are an excellent source of Vitamin E, which, like Vitamin C, is also an anti-oxidant. As such, avocados have been known to delay the aging of the skin.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is needed to combat sun damage.

   
What nutrients do post menopausal women need?

Nutrients to Make You Boom in the Boomer Years

Recently, people have been saying, "40 is the new 30." Indeed, the 40-year-old women, and even the 50 and 60-year old are far more vibrant and energetic than the women of the generation before them. Why is this? Part of the reason has to do with exercise. The other part is probably based on the fact that in the past two decades, women are becoming far savvier about nutrition. To keep up with the booming beauty trend, here are some of the nutrients that should be an essential part of your diet:

  • Calcium: The recommended amount of calcium that post-menopausal women require to maintain bone strength is between 1,200 and 1,500 milligrams a day
  • Vitamin E: About 200-600iu per day of Vitamin E can help many menopausal problems such as hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations and vaginal dryness.
  • Vitamin C: When combined with hesperidin, 1, 000 mg. of Vitamin C is useful for preventing flushing and other circulatory problems.

   
What nutrients do pasta dishes supply?

Low Fat Pasta Recipe

Ask any runner what she eats prior to a marathon, and she will probably answer "pasta." pasta is not only high in energy-supplying carbohydrates: It is an excellent source of folic acid, which prevents birth defects in unborn children. Folic acid can also prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer. Although some women avoid pasta dishes because they believe that they are fattening, there are actually some low fat cooking methods for creating delicious pasta dishes. Since the high fat part of the pasta dish is in the sauce and the cheese, consider this alternative from the folks at "I Love Pasta" online.

Gnocchi with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Portabella Mushrooms

If you've never tried gnocchi, you don't know what you're missing! Gnocchi is actually a potato dumpling in a pasta crust. So when you eat gnocchi, you are getting the folic acid and carbohydrate from the pasta and the potassium from the potatoes. Gnocchi will cook much faster than regular pasta, so be sure to watch the pot. You will need:

  • One package of gnocchi
  • One package of sun dried tomatoes
  • One package of pine nuts
  • Four tablespoons of sweet basil
  • One package of portabella mushrooms
  • Olive oil- as much as you need to satisfy your taste
  • One teaspoon of maple syrup
  • Low fat grated Romano cheese-to taste

Before you boil the gnocchi, place the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water. Allow them to soak for as long as possible. This gets rid of the overly salty taste. Prepare the gnocchi according to the directions on the package. When the sun-dried tomatoes have softened, heat some olive oil in a pan. Add the maple syrup and the basil. Then add the sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for about five minutes, and then add the portabella mushrooms. Sauté for another five minutes, and then add the pine nuts. Sprinkle the mixture over the gnocchi, and then add the Romano cheese.

Aside from the carbohydrates and folic acid from the gnocchi, the olive oil in this recipe can reduce the risk of:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • A Weakened Immune System
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Some Malignant Tumors
  • Heart Disease
  • High Cholesterol Levels
The sun-dried tomatoes contain Lycopene, which is a antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body. Sun dried tomatoes have 12 times the amount of Lycopene than a raw tomato. Research has shown that a tomato rich diet can reduce the risk of

  • Digestive Disorders
  • Breast, Lung and Cervical Cancers
  • Heart Disease

   
What are the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids?

Salmon: It's Healthy; Now Make it Delicious

Salmon is a low fat food that contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Many women have been known to take omega fatty 3 acid capsules to ease menstrual cramps, and to control the symptoms of diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Additionally, omega 3 fatty acids can prevent heart disease, and control brain functionality. Since salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, you might want to cook it for your family. Unfortunately, many kids have an "I hate fish" mentality. Here is a recipe to make salmon more palatable.

  • Pre-heat your oven to 325
  • In the meantime, mix one teaspoon of pure maple syrup with one cup of orange juice.
  • Marinate the salmon filets for about ten minutes
  • Remove salmon from the marinade, and coat with a tablespoon of sugar free orange marmalade
  • Place a handful of of Dorrito Lime Tortilla Chips in a baggie.
  • Crush the chips with the palm of your hand
  • Sprinkle the chips over the marmalade
  • Place in a stick free pan, and cover with aluminum foil
  • Bake for about 25 minutes
  • Serve and enjoy!

   
What is the most important information on a nutrition chart?

Nutrition Label Must-Knows: Total Fat And Serving Size

Nutrition charts on food packages can be confusing, but they do have information that can help you plan a healthy diet, whether you are counting calories, looking for more protein or trying to keep your fat intake healthy.

Some nutrition chart pointers:

  • Check the serving size. The nutrition information, including calories, is based on one serving, not one package. For example, a can of soup may contain two or more servings. That means if you have the whole can, you are getting double the calories on the nutrition label.
  • Check the fat breakdown. Nutrition labels break down fat content from total fat into saturated and unsaturated fat. Some fat is essential for a healthy diet, but check nutrition charts for foods with more “good fats,” which include the unsaturated fats found in nuts, lean meats and lowfat dairy foods.

One way to keep track of all this nutrition information is to use the nutrition charts and calorie counters on Fitnessmagazine.com. You can create a healthy diet using these charts. Just visit the site and register to get access to all the charting features.

   
What fruits are good for women's diets?

A Food That's Berry Good For You

To give yourself a healthy dose of antioxidants, put berries in your shopping cart on a weekly basis. Any berries (including raspberries and blackberries) are healthy, but blueberries are especially high in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which may fight off Alzheimer's disease and certain cancers, and they have also been associated with muscle repair; a plus for any women's diet, especially active women.

Berries make great ingredients in a fruit smoothie (and you can even toss frozen berries right into the blender; no need to thaw them first). But don't stop there; you can mix them into yogurt or ice cream or just eat them by the handful. And berries make great low-calorie snacks. Most berries weigh in at just 60 calories per cup, so you can enjoy them guilt-free.

Fresh berries are wonderful when they are in season at your local farmer's market, but frozen berries are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. And they will keep in the freezer for up to 9 months, so they are always ready to eat.

   
How do I keep myself from going back to my old habits?

Replace Old Behaviors

A successful diet requires that you not only drop the old behavior (like afternoon munching) but that you replace it with a new behavior (like walking or scrapbooking.)

   
What is a good source of iron other than red meat?

The Most Important Nutrients in a Women's Diet

Although many women might occasionally glance at the nutrition charts, some remain unaware of the essential nutrients that should be included in any women's diet. Quite often, women who only eat low calorie foods and low calorie snacks may find themselves lacking the nutrients that control the female metabolism and promote optimal health. Here are some of the most important nutrients that should be included in any women's diet.

  • Magnesium, which is found in nuts, spinach, soy and certain types of fish can prevent insomnia, high blood pressure and problems with vision.
  • Potassium, which is found in foods such as bananas and baked potatoes, are responsible for muscular contraction, which in turn improves athletic performance.
  • Selenium, which is found in Brazil nuts, some types of fish and pasta can prevent hot flashes in menopausal women
  • Zinc, found in foods such as chickpeas and baked beans, promotes healthy skin, hair and joints
  • Iron is particularly important for women who are still menstruating. Loss of iron can lead to anemia. Iron is found in red meat, spinach, egg yolks and fortified cereals.
  • Calcium, which is found in dairy products is important for maintaining bone density.

   
Why should I drink more water?

Reach for Water

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to increase your water intake. It helps flush fat from your body and makes dieting easier. So ditch the diet drinks and reach for water.

   
What types of foods do I need to eat for healthy hair?

Nutrition for Beautiful Hair

By now, you have probably figured out that what you eat will have a profound influence on how you look. We already know that proper nutrition promotes great skin. Guess what? Eating the right foods can also enhance the appearance of your hair! These are the nutrients that are necessary for healthy hair:

  • Protein: Iron rich protein foods can "pump iron" into your hair follicles, which will promote healthy hair growth
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C improves your body's ability to absorb iron
  • B Vitamins: B Vitamins help create the red blood cells that carry the nutrients to your scalp.
  • Zinc: Zinc is crucial for tissue growth and repair. This includes hair growth.

   
What are some inexpensive ways to have low calorie snacks?

Low-Calorie Snacks Can Fit A Low Budget

Energy bars and gels can be good low-calorie snacks for women on the go, but they can be expensive, and many of them aren't really low in calories. A standard energy bar can be anywhere from 150 to nearly 300 calories.

Other options for low-calorie snacks include the prepackaged 100-calorie packs of many popular snack foods, such as Chips Ahoy cookies. But you can make your own low-calorie snack packs by dividing a bag of healthy chips, nuts, trail mix or air-popped popcorn into small Ziploc bags to take to work or to the gym.

Want a low-calorie chocolate fix? Most lowfat or no sugar added hot cocoa packets weigh in at about 60 calories per packet, and some brands have added calcium, too.

   
What can I do to cook healthy meals?

Tips For Healthy Cooking

Learning to cook healthy meals means knowing what ingredients you can alter. It also means knowing how to prepare foods for the table. Healthy food recipes begin with substitutions. If the recipe calls for butter, you may want to use margarine. Serve low fat sour cream with baked potatoes instead of regular. Use seasonings such as ground pepper and herbs rather than salt whenever possible. There are many cookbooks that include healthy substitutions, but here are a few simple ones to get you started:

  • Instead of eggs, use egg whites.
  • Instead of whole milk, use skim.
  • Instead of regular cheese, use low fat varieties.
  • Instead of peanut butter, use reduced fat peanut butter.
  • Instead of jelly, use fresh fruit.
  • Instead of ice cream, try frozen yogurt.
When baking or cooking, you will want to be sure that your substitution will not alter the recipe. You can usually find out this type of information on the Internet. Some recipes will also alert you as to when you can or cannot substitute.

In terms of meats, baking, broiling and steaming are healthier options than pan frying. Steaming vegetables is a healthy way to prepare them; you can also serve them raw. Avoid things such as heavy cream sauces and seasonings that are loaded with sodium whenever possible.

   
My weight loss has plateaued what can I do?

How women 30+ can re-set their sluggish metabolism

Supplementing with EFA's (essential fatty acids). Taking 1 tablespoon a day of flax seed oil, fish oil, linseed oil, safflower oil, or evening primrose oil are some of the best sources. EFA's are essential to your body and keeping it functioning properly. Most women can see and feel the benefits immediately when taking this. It helps not only with fat loss but menopause, joint problems, and promotes healthy skin and hair.

   
What is one of the most important fat loss tips I need to know to start losing fat quickly?

Fat-Burning Tip That Most Women Neglect To Do

Making sure that you more frequently throughout your day at least every 3 hours. I find so many women eating only 2 meals a day which will slow down the metabolism and decrease energy levels. By eating throughout the day, your body will start to burn more fat instantly and help boost your energy levels.

   

Understanding Food Labels

Knowing how to read food labels is crucial to knowing what you are putting into your body. This may seem like a simple task but keep in mind that manufacturers want you to buy their product and are trying to make it seem as nutritious as possible. Here is some labeling terms that you may run into:

  • "Low Calorie " = Contains no more than 40 calories per serving.
  • "Reduced Calorie" = Contains 25% fewer calories per serving than regular product
  • "Calorie-Free" = Contains less than 5 calories per serving
  • "Low Sodium" = Containing 140mg of sodium or less per serving.
  • "Very Low Sodium" = Containing 35mg of sodium or less per serving.
  • "Fat-Free" = Contains no more than 0.5g of fat per serving.
  • "Low Cholesterol" = Contains no more than 20g of cholesterol and less than 2g of saturated fat per serving.
  • "Low Fat" = Contains no more than 3g of fat per serving
  • "Lean" = Contains no more than 10g of fat, no more than 4.5g of which is saturated fat, also contains less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving
  • "Extra Lean" = Contains no more than 5g of fat, no more than 2g of which is saturated fat, also contains less than 95mg of cholesterol per serving
  • "Free", "No", "Zero" = Containing no amount, or a trivial amount
  • "Sugar-Free" = Containing less than 0.5g per serving
  • "Good Source" = Provides 10%-19% of Daily Value per serving
  • "Light" = Can mean one of three things:
    • provides 1/3 fewer calories or 1/2 the amount of fat as the regular product per serving
    • if it's a "low fat", "low-calorie" food, it can be called "light" if it provides 1/2 the normal fat present
    • can be referring to the actual color of the food itself

   
How can I stay hydrated throughout the day?

What is the Best Way to Stay Hydrated?

Over the last few years, research has shown that the amount of water a person needs to stay hydrated can vary widely among individuals. Some doctors believe that 40 ounces of water per day is the minimum amount most women should be drinking to stay healthy. Scientists do know that your body needs a constant supply of water to stay properly hydrated throughout the day. Start developing a taste for water by taking little drinks all day. Try stopping by the water fountain on your way back from the restroom or keeping a bottle of water handy. Water not only keeps your body running smoothly on the inside, most women are pleasantly surprised to find that being properly hydrated improves their hair, nails, and skin and that they are less reliant on expensive lip balm, body lotion and hair conditioners.

   

Inspect You Kitchen

Swap you unhealthy foods for better choices. Replace your soda with water. Ditch your cookies for fibre crackers. Trash all temptations and replace them with healthy choices (whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean meats).

   
How much protein should I be eating?

Balancing Protein in Your Diet

Most women either get too much protein in their diets, or not enough. Excess protein in your diet can add unnecessary calories, fat, and, in extreme cases, can put excess strain on the kidneys. Moderate levels of protein intake have been found to boost the metabolism, and people who do not get enough protein are missing out on that benefit as well. The current USDA recommendation is that female non-athletes aged 25 through 50 get about 1 gram of protein for every 3 pounds of body weight, or .8 grams of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight.

   
What is a BMI

Understanding BMI

BMI stands for body mass index. It is calculated by taking your weight in kilograms and dividing it by your height in centimeters squared. (kg/cm*cm). The BMI is just one of the tools used by doctors to determine if a person is at a healthy weight. So far, research has shown that the healthiest people have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. People with a BMI under 18.5 are considered underweight, people with a BMI of 25-29.9 areconsidered overweight while those with a BMI of over 30 are considered obese.

   
How can I control my calories when eating out?

Calorie Counting in Restaurants

Many women routinely order salads at restaurants thinking it is the healthier choice on the menu. However, often times it is not. If you're watching your calorie intake and are craving a salad, request the dressing on the side and avoid cream or milk based dressings, which contain loads of calories and fat. A high sugar or high fat dressing or sauce can completely eliminate any calories you thought you were saving by ordering the salad. When dining out, ask your server about healthier alternatives to the menus. Many restaurants today have dishes that are prepared specifically for the weight-conscience. When in doubt, it is always wise decision to go with baked chicken, or fish and fresh vegetables.

   
Which supplements should I be taking?

Supplementing Your Diet

Multi-vitamins, mineral supplements and essential fatty acids (EFA's) like omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) line the shelves of our stores and supermarkets. It is estimated that consumers spend $20 billion every year on supplements of all kinds, but research shows that many of these pills are not only useless, but may be dangerous. Some supplements are very good for women: iron and calcium being foremost and EFA's such as omega-3 fatty acids coming in a very close second. Before adding supplements to your regiment, you should analyze your diet over at least a week to make sure you actually need the supplement. Then, consult your doctor for proper nutritional guidelines.

   
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Jolyn Wells-Moran
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