Lifestyle choices, including diet, play a role in preventing diseases that strongly affect women, such as cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and osteoporosis, and according to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) recently published practice paper, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, followed by cancer and stroke. Osteoporosis threatens women, particularly after menopause, and each of these diagnoses in aging women share a commonality in that lifestyle choices, including diet, play a primary role in their prevention and treatment. The paper also suggests that registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) and dietetic technicians, registered play important roles in both clinical and community settings in prevention and risk reduction for these diagnoses. RDNs are uniquely qualified to provide medical nutrition therapy. As members of a health care team, RDNs are responsible for assessing the health status of women by evaluating diet and related health factors for cardiovascular, bone, and breast health, and providing evidence-based medical nutrition therapy to promote risk reduction and/or optimal health outcomes. Also, according to the paper, risk reduction strategies for these diseases share common dietary elements including recommendations regarding body weight and nutrient density of the diet as well as individual adaptation requirements, and dietary supplements have not been shown to be as protective as nutrient-rich foods for cardiovascular disease or breast cancer prevention. Adequate intakes of calcium and vitamin D from dietary sources are preferred over supplements for osteoporosis prevention; however, if women cannot meet recommendations through diet then supplements may be recommended.
Tip of the Day
Make eating out healthier!Make eating out healthier. Trying to eat healthy while eating out can be a challenge. Make it easier with simple swaps: ask for whole-wheat bread on your sandwich at lunch or add steamed vegetables to pasta at dinner.