From your health and wellness experts at Prisma Health
Health
September 27, 2017

Dietary tips to help women improve their health

Kristen Ziesmer, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD
Apex Athletic Performance
In celebration of National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, Sept. 27, Kristen Ziesmer, Palmetto Health’s Apex Athletic Performance sports dietitian, provided dietary tips to women to help improve their health and overall well-being. 
 
Ziesmer recommended the following information as important guidelines for women: 
 

Women at different ages do not eat the same

Women of all ages are encouraged to eat a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. However, their nutrition plans differ, as they grow older. Young women, especially those between 18 and 24, are more active and still growing. Their bodies require a large amount of energy per day, which demands at least 1,800 to 2,400 calories, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Ziesmer advised, “Young women should eat about 50 percent of their calories from whole grain carbohydrate sources, such as whole grain breads, bagels, cereals and brown rice.” In contrast, women should focus on the protein and limit the carbohydrates, as they get older. Curious about how much protein and carbohydrate you should eat at your age? Calculate it at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website, here!

Eating less fried food is wiser than reducing egg yolks

Many female consumers believe cutting back on egg yolks can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Regarding to this matter, Ziesmer commented, “Egg yolks do contain 100 percent daily value of cholesterol (300 mg), but eating cholesterol does not equate to increasing LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. However, egg yolks do contain saturated fat, which can increase LDL cholesterol.” The nutritionist suggested that, for people with high cholesterol, limiting egg yolks to about 3 per week is wise, although it is not as important for normal people. On the other hand, eating fried foods, pastries, high fat meats, and other foods containing large amounts of saturated fats and trans fat can lead to higher cholesterol levels. 

“If you have high cholesterol, it’s not a bad idea to pay attention to cholesterol levels on food labels. Do not eat more than 300 mg,” said Ziesmer. “Eating fried food, which contains unhealthy fats, will raise your LDL cholesterol levels. It is more important to focus on limiting foods with trans fat and saturated fat than not eating eggs because trans and saturated fats will raise LDL cholesterol levels.”

Vitamins versus supplements

Good vitamins and mineral supplements usually come from reputable sources and household brands. Supplement products are highly recommended, but following the correct eating order is more important. The correct order is pursuing a healthy diet, then filling in the gap with supplements. Ziesmer said, “It is not going to work if you do not follow a healthy diet and only rely on the supplements. Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to get as many nutrients from food as possible. This will help to cut down the need for supplements.”
 
Ziesmer does not recommend that women strain themselves with a strict or expensive nutrition plan because that will not work for long-term healthy eating. She recommends following these helpful tips:
  • Set a mealtime and stay with it
  • No electronics, books or newspaper while eating
  • Do not skip your breakfast
  • Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re just satisfied
  • Keep drinking water, your skin will be grateful for it
 

Serving Columbia and Lexington, Apex Athletic Performance has a comprehensive and scientific approach to athletic training and exercise, which includes nutritional assessments. For more information, visit their website or call 803-296-9202.

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