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Gender Differences In Food Habits

Dr. Shweta U. Shah

Dr. Shweta U. Shah
18 August 2020

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

A balanced, wholesome eating pattern is the very foundation of good health. The key fundamentals of a wholesome diet remain the same for men and women. Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; consume whole cereals and quality protein and include dairy sources which are low in fat. Steer clear of too much packaged food, trans-fat, and overdose of sugar.

Now, while the general guidelines are the same for males and females, a comprehensive and explicit plan is necessary for women. It becomes important to imbibe healthy eating habits for women.

Men and women need to follow different diet rules!

Men and women have distinct nutritional needs and the needs vary depending up on the body structure, metabolic rate, and the reproductive function. A woman has special nutrient requirements during the diverse phases of her life. Consuming a diet that is chockfull of nutrient-dense foods ensures that you have adequate energy for your busy life, and it promises to significantly cut back on your risk of diseases.

• Understand your calorie requirement: Men have a larger body frame and more muscle mass than women do; consequently, they have increased caloric requirements. On an average, a woman requires approximately 2000 calories per day, whilst a man needs around 2800 calories per day. Typically, women have a smaller build, less muscle mass, and more body fat, thus they require fewer calories to maintain a healthy body weight. Also, it is important to balance your calorie intake with your activity level.

• Significance of calcium in a woman’s diet: Eat Breakfast Women are a lot more vulnerable to osteoporosis, because of the changes that occur in the hormone profile every month in relation to menstruation as well as due to childbearing. Pregnant women, lactating mothers and peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal women need more calcium than their male counterparts. You must eat plenty of calcium-rich foods on a daily basis. Calcium fortifies your bones and appreciably reduces your risk for osteoporosis. So, load up on - low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, fish, and calcium supplements if necessary.

• Do not overlook the sunshine vitamin: Potatoes proffer starchy carbs which act as high-calorie food for weight gain. The starch in the tuber helps in the release of energy in the form of glucose. Often called a guilty pleasures; you can stack your plate with baked potato wedges, aloo curries and the occasional fries!

• Women and iron insufficiency: Women face a big risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia compared to men – the chief cause is the monthly blood loss in relation to the menses. Women require around 18 mg of iron per day, compared to 8 mg that men need. The requirement for iron is higher during pregnancy and lessens post menopause. Rich sources of the mineral are –meat, fish, leafy greens, beans, and dals. A tip to remember is - plant-based sources of iron are readily and easily absorbed by your body when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods, so try to combine the two whenever possible.

• The import of folic acid: A crucial aspect of healthy diet plans for women is incorporating adequate amounts of folic acid. You need 400 mg of folic acid per day, and the requirement goes up to 600 mg per day during pregnancy and lactation. Sufficient folic acid is essential to avert brain and spinal cord anomalies in a growing fetus. Leafy greens, peas and beans are rich sources. It is also recommended that you confer with your OB/GYN and embark upon supplementation.

Incorporate wholesome and healthy food habits

Radish • You must eat 3 portion sizes of whole grains per day. Integrate atta chapatti, dalia, and rice into your diet.

• 4 to 5 servings of protein rich foods such as – dals, lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, nuts and seeds are very crucial. When buying dals, always opt for unpolished pulses such Tata Sampann Dals which help retain all the essential nutritional value; as they do not undergo artificial polishing with water, oil or leather, they have lower moisture (8-10%) compared to loose dals available in the market.

• Have 2 to 3 servings of low-fat dairy products to get your calcium requirement.

• Healthy food habits include 2 servings of fresh fruit and 2 servings of veggies!

• Healthy eating habits for women must focus on sources of unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds; steer clear of saturated fat and trans-fat.

On the whole, an increased awareness of your nutritional requirement as well as the nutritional value of foods, including calories, the important macro-nutrients, and their vitamin and mineral composition will empower you to make prudent choices, supercharge your health and help you take big strides towards your wellness goals!



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

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Hypertension In Women

Karishma Chawla

Karishma Chawla
27 October 2020

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert. She advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal.

Hypertension is quite often considered a men’s health problem, but that’s a myth. In fact, men and women have a similar risk of developing high blood pressure. But after the onset of menopause, women actually face higher risk than men of developing high blood pressure. Although prior to 45 years of age, men are slightly more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing inside the lining of arteries. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force increases and stays higher than normal for a period of time.

Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer. If untreated, it can lead to a major health set back and cause many complications. In most cases, there may not be any symptoms of high blood pressure. Sometimes, in case of sudden or severe increase in B.P., individuals may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or nosebleeds. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and kidney failure. These problems worsen when high blood pressure is present along with diabetes. For women, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child.

What causes it? Reasons for high blood pressure

Eat Breakfast

• Genetic factors: Hereditary factors – one of the leading reasons for high blood pressure, which worsen when the environmental factors are not healthy.

• Body weight: Obesity and diabetes along with their associated disorders are often associated with hypertension.

• Age:Chances of a high blood pressure diagnosis increase steeply with age. But research now shows that high blood pressure can affect adolescents and the young as well.

• Gender: Risk is greater in men than women, but after menopause, the difference decreases.

• Dietary factors: Some dietary factors that can contribute to high blood pressure include excess calories coming saturated fats, diets that contain high sodium foods, and less calcium and magnesium in the diet

• Potassium: Decrease in potassium intake and low intake of high potassium foods like fruits and vegetables can also lead to increase in heart rate and high blood pressure.

• Contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptive pills may lead to high blood pressure

• Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle devoid of exercise can contribute to high blood pressure. Stress, smoking, tobacco intake, and alcohol intake also lead to increase in high blood pressure.

• Other medical conditions High blood pressure can also be a result of other medical conditions such as kidney problems, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Hormone issues such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and Hyperaldosteronism (increase in aldosterone) and preeclampsia in pregnancy are responsible for high blood pressure diagnosis.

Measures to reduce high blood pressure

Reduce sodium intake
It is important to note that it’s not the consumption of salt but excessive consumption of sodium is a concern. Sodium is a compound found naturally in foods. One teaspoon of salt contains 2400 milligrams of sodium and the amount recommended for daily consumption is approximately the same. The amount of recommended sodium intake reduces further to approximately 1500 mg under conditions such as hypertension, kidney issues, water retention, and heart condition to name a few. But these problems are usually correlated with high consumption of sugar and fat. Hence it is beneficial to avoid foods such as processed foods, salted snacks, pickles, papad, sauces and instant soups. These are some known sources of excess sodium and not the usual home cooked foods.

It’s important to avoid sprinkling excess salt at the table. Rather use adequate salt during cooking and experiment with reduced sodium salt after conferring with your physician. Tata Salt Liteis a good option for those looking to reduce sodium intake. It provides 15% reduced sodium than regular salt. Inclusion of herbs and spices like like coriander, ginger, turmeric, mint, garlic or lemon juice can also help improves the taste and flavour of the food.

Improve intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium How to Increase Immune System
This can be done by inclusion of low-fat dairy products for calcium and green leafy vegetables for magnesium. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium are bananas, watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, sweetlime, leafy vegetables, milk and almonds. Eating three to five servings of these foods daily would ensure sufficient potassium intake and regulate blood pressure.

Reduction in refined carbohydrates
Though this is not a direct connection, but the preparations and the nature of these foods usually contain excess sodium for taste and preservation purposes. Add omega 3 foods such as fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseeds to reduce blood pressure.

DASH DietDash Diet has been found to be a good approach for the treatment of hypertension. This diet emphasizes consumption of fruits, vegetables, low sodium, and low-fat dairy foods. It also includes low amounts of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol to reduce blood pressure. This includes whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and other foods rich in potassium, calcium, omega 3 and magnesium.

Lifestyle MeasuresLifestyle measures include regular exercise of 30 minutes daily, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga, avoidance of rage and anger, adequate sleep, low alcohol intake, no smoking and normal body weight with low body fat percentage.

High blood pressure can affect the physical, professional, personal and economical life of any individual. As women tend to juggle multiple priorities, managing their own health often takes a back seat. It is advisable to take some judicious measures such as dietary and lifestyle modifications in order to prevent the onset of hypertension, control it and minimize its risks.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 



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