For women who are trying to gracefully transition into later stages of life, the sheer number of diet options are dizzying â€” and not all of them are good for your health.
Many women over 50 are looking for diets to support heart or brain function, help control menopause symptoms, or boost their overall health.
The diets in this article were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Easy to follow. Aside from offering clear guidelines and simple shopping lists, the diet doesnâ€™t require supplements.
- Adaptable. You can make changes according to your personal preferences and nutritional needs.
- Not overly restrictive. You wonâ€™t need to eliminate large groups of foods from your eating plan.
- Nutritionally balanced. Youâ€™ll eat plenty of healthy fats and protein, plus quality carb sources and micronutrients.
- Evidence-based. Scientific studies back the dietâ€™s health benefits.
Here are 5 of the best diets for women over 50.
How to choose the best womenâ€™s diet for those over 50
If youâ€™re a woman over 50, the best diet is one that you can maintain long term â€” and it may not look the same as the best diet for your friend, sister, or neighbor.
Your diet should include foods that you enjoy, help you feel your best, and provide all of the nutrients your body needs.
When choosing between diets on this list, consider your personal needs.
If your primary goal is to reduce your blood pressure, opt for the DASH diet. If you want to focus on self-care and a healthy relationship with food, try intuitive eating. If youâ€™re simply aiming for a healthier, more balanced diet, the Mediterranean or Flexitarian diets may be best.
You may notice that the aforementioned diets overlap significantly. Each emphasizes nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, lean protein, and antioxidants â€” all of which are key factors for any diet youâ€™re considering.
Women over 50 should pay special attention to their intake of specific nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D, protein, and B vitamins. If you donâ€™t think youâ€™re getting adequate amounts of these nutrients, simple dietary adjustments or supplements may be warranted (20, 21).
Remember that you donâ€™t need to make drastic changes to your diet. Small, incremental steps may still provide significant health benefits, even if youâ€™re not following your chosen eating pattern perfectly.
Before making any major changes to your diet or adding any supplements to your routine, consult your healthcare provider to ensure it aligns with your needs.
The bottom line
If youâ€™re a woman over 50, itâ€™s often difficult to know which diet is best, especially as youâ€™re experiencing physical changes associated with aging.
The Mediterranean, Flexitarian, DASH, and MIND diets, alongside intuitive eating, provide a variety of benefits for your heart, brain, and overall health.
Choosing the one thatâ€™s right for you requires thoughtful consideration of your personal goals and nutritional needs. The right choice is the diet that you can maintain long term and keeps you feeling your best.