How to Follow Nutrition Guidelines for Women's Health

Follow these nutritional guidelines for women to lower your risk of disease and cancer.

You will need

  • Diet rich in carbohydrates
  • calcium
  • and iron
  • Knowledge of calorie requirements
  • Vitamin D
  • Limit of fat consumption
  • Protein
  • Doctor's referral for a multivitamin (optional)

Step 1 Obtain calorie intake Obtain your recommended calorie intake by going to mypyramid.gov. Calorie amounts depend on age, sex, and activity level. A good rule of thumb is 13 calories per pound of body weight for a sedentary person of either sex, 16 calories per pound for a moderately active person, and 18 calories per pound for a vigorously active person.

Step 2 Add carbohydrates into diet Reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease by adding complex carbohydrates that are found in high-fiber and unrefined foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, and legumes.

Step 3 Acquire calcium Get 1,000 milligrams of calcium up to the age of 50 and 1,200 milligrams after age 50. Getting sufficient calcium is effective for reducing symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, reducing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, preventing stroke, and treating osteoporosis.

Step 4 Attain iron Get 18 milligrams of iron if you are between 19 to 50 years of age, 8 milligrams for 51 and older, and 27 milligrams if you are pregnant. Dried beans, fortified cereals, pasta, beef, and poultry are foods high in iron.

Step 5 Get vitamin D Go outside to get 5 to 20 minutes of exposure to the sun a week, or eat foods such as fish, eggs, milk, and cod liver to get your daily recommended amount of vitamin D. Women need 200 international units under the age of 50 and 400 international units for ages 51 and older.

Step 6 Limit fats in diet Maintain a diet with a fat consumption below 30 percent of your daily calories. Avoid foods high in saturated and trans fat such as margarine, palm oil, fried foods, and commercial baked goods. Incorporating monounsaturated fats such as salmon and olive oil into your diet is healthy for your heart.

Step 7 Include 60 grams of protein Include 60 grams of protein — the amount in about 6 ounces of chicken — into your daily diet. Too much protein can raise your risk of osteoporosis and calcium loss in your urine. Stay healthy by staying within these guidelines.