Why your nutritional needs change as you age

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LOGAN — As women age, their nutritional needs shift, so adapting their diet is key to keeping their bodies healthy. A Utah State University Extension dietician shared some easy snacks to add some nutrients into their diet.

Jenna Dyckman, a dietician and assistant professor at Utah State Extension, said as women go through menopause, the hormone estrogen decreases, which means lean body mass can start to decrease and fat mass can increase.

Small changes to your diet can help.

"Research has shown that increasing your protein intake maintains your lean body mass," she said.

Dyckman suggests protein-filled snacks like carrots and hummus.

"Many people like to eat raw veggies, dip them in ranch, but hummus is a good alternative as it's high in protein," said Dyckman.

She added Greek yogurt for breakfast is a good option, as well as cheese, and adding beans and nuts to your salad.

"Add some good nutrients into your salad and spice it up a little bit," Dyckman said.

Dyckman said you need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. An easy way to check and see how much protein the food you are eating has is to check the label.

"It's important to have a healthy diet, trying to have as many food groups as you can in your meals, and at least two to three food groups in your snacks that helps get the nutrients that you need," she said.

She said other nutrients that are important to include as women age are calcium, iron and vitamin B, especially B12.

"As we age, you are at higher risk of chronic diseases, want to maintain muscle strength and decrease risk of breaking bones if we fall," Dyckman said.

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Ayanna Likens
Ayanna Likens is an Emmy award-winning special projects reporter for KSL-TV.


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