Dieting for Women

CoffeeSLENDER Are you a woman looking for some healthy diet tips?
CoffeeSLENDER Firstly, what are the recommended energy requirements for women?
CoffeeSLENDER What constitutes a healthy diet?
CoffeeSLENDER What is the optimum distribution of foods as a percentage of total energy intake?
CoffeeSLENDER How should I go about slimming?
CoffeeSLENDER Special requirements for Women.
CoffeeSLENDER Further advice and relevant links.
Are you a woman looking for some healthy diet tips?
Perhaps you are a working mum, who has to juggle work and family and is tempted on a daily basis by snacks, office food or junk food? Are you perhaps responsible for feeding your family and due to lack of time, prefer to buy ready-made meals rather than go through the hassle of self-prepared food? Or do you stay predominantly at home all day, surrounded by the easy-to-plunder kitchen cabinets?

Keeping a healthy diet is by no means an easy task in today's high pressured and competitive world.

To help you, we have compiled some useful information, which may help you in your quest to improve your diet (British Nutrition Foundation and other reputable sources):

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Firstly, what are the recommended energy requirements for women? 
For a 19-50 year old female the average daily requirement is 1940 kcal/day (1800-2200 range), dropping to 1900 kcal/day for 51-59 year olds.
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What constitutes a healthy diet? 
You should choose a variety of foods from each of the four main food groups every day :

  • Bread, other cereals and potatoes
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Meat, fish and alternatives

8 simple guidelines for a healthy diet :

  • Enjoy your food
  • Eat a variety of different foods
  • Eat the right amount to be a healthy weight
  • Eat plenty of foods rich in starch and fibre
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Don’t eat too many foods that contain a lot of fat
  • Don’t have sugary foods and drinks too often
  • If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly

Do you sometimes feel the need for chocolate? Did you know that a 100g bar of chocolate contains around 530 calories! That’s around a quarter of your daily recommended calorie intake!

Perhaps you enjoy a glass of wine from time to time? A single glass of white wine contains around 90 calories.

Are you tempted by the odd biscuit? You’ll be surprised to learn that ONE typical biscuit contains a whopping 74 calories!

That’s not to say you shouldn’t indulge yourself from time to time. Eating is one of life’s pleasures, but if you make yourself aware of what you are eating, you’ll find it easier to keep your diet balanced and healthy.

For more information download this paper from the British Nutrition Foundation:

Download PDF Download this paper from the British Nutrition Foundation
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What is the optimum distribution of foods as a percentage of total energy intake?  
A balanced daily diet relies on the following proportions, expressed as a percentage of total daily energy intake:
  • 30-35% lipids (e.g. vegetable oils, butter, cheese, nuts etc)
  • 11-15% protein (e.g. red meat, poultry, fish etc)
  • 50% carbohydrates (e.g. fruit, vegetables, whole grain etc)
  • Vitamins, minerals and 30g of fibre a day
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How should I go about slimming? 
Weight loss relies on a diet low in calorific density (1200-1500 kcal) composed of 20% lipids, 30% proteins and 50% carbohydrates which is :
  1. rich in vegetables, fresh fruit and salad, cereals and starchy foods (e.g. steamed potatoes, pasta and rice without fatty sauces)
  2. contains lots of drink (but not alcohol): water, tea, light coffee, sugarless drinks etc
  3. has controlled fat content (e.g. veal, poultry, lean beef/pork etc); have one knob of butter or a tablespoon of vegetable oil per day
  4. contains limited simple sugars
  5. is eaten in meals taken at regular times with no meal skipping.  Generally speaking breakfast should provide 25% of the energy ration, lunch 45% and supper 30%.
  6. is eaten slowly (divide mouthfuls in two)
  7. is accompanied by physical activity (sport)

Of course, we also recommend that you drink a cup of CoffeeSLENDER after every meal to make your diet about twice as effective!

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Special requirements for Women.
Several nutrients may be of particular relevance for women’s health, including iron, calcium and folate.

Iron – women have higher requirements for iron compared to men, mainly because of the loss of iron that occur during menstruation. Requirements fall (to the levels estimated for men) when menstruation ceases (menopause). Recent UK statistics show that many women of child-bearing age have low iron intakes.

Calcium – calcium is one of the nutrients important for bone health. Intakes of calcium during childhood and adolescence are known to be important for determining peak bone mass but having an adequate calcium intake during adulthood (700 mg/day) is also an important determinant of later bone health, as is being physically active.

Folate – folate is involved in the formation of red blood cells and deficiency causes anaemia. Women of child-bearing age are recommended to take folic acid supplements and consume a folate-rich diet. This is because a high folate intake before conception and during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy reduces the incidence of neural tube defects (e.g. spina bifida) in babies.

Folate is found in liver, yeast extract, green leafy vegetables (e.g. sprouts, spinach, green beans, peas), potatoes, fruit (especially oranges), milk and dairy products. Breakfast cereals and bread are examples of foods that may be fortified with folic acid (the manufactured form of folate).

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Further advice and relevant links
For further advice and tips, here are 3 sites that may help you decide what constitutes a healthy diet and some practical advice on how much of what to eat to maintain a healthy nutritional balance.

  1. The British Nutrition Foundation
  2. The Foods Standards Agency (Healthy Diet)
  3. BBC Healthy Living
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