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Food Groups

The average daily calorie intake for a 50 year old woman is 1600 calories, but this can vary between 1500 – 2000 depending on lifestyle and activity level.

It is important to include food from all food groups to obtain the nutrients your body requires

 

Getting the balance right

Carbohydrates
Are your main source of energy and should make up 50% of your daily diet. You  may be surprised at this high amount, especially since some carboydrate ‘free’ diets have grown in popularity over the years.   Carbohydrates are extremely beneficial in a healthy diet, just make sure you understand the difference between the good carbs and bad carbs and choose them carefully.

Fats
Fat is essential for survival and should make up 30%-35% of your daily diet.
Again, it is important to distinguish the good fats from the bad fats. Chose polyunsaturated and monounsaturated and steer clear of trans fats and saturated fats.

Protein
Is essential for growth and healthy bones and is needed for the manufacture of hormones. However, eating too much may increase calcium loss. As your body digests protein, it releases acids into the blood stream that the body neutralises by drawing calcium from the bones. So, although it is important to eat protein on a daily basis, make sure you don’t eat too much. Aim for 15%-20% in your daily diet.

Fibre
Fibre is technically a carbohydrate, the difference is you can’t digest it. It comes from the part of the plant that is resistant to the body’s digestive enzymes.  Fibre absorbs water and will help you feel full after eating. It also stimulates your intestine walls to aid your digestive system.
Fibre is not a nutrient, it contains no calories or vitamins, but it is vital to good health. Aim to eat 24g per day.

 

Your body can only digest around 500-600 calories per meal, so try to balance your calories during the day to prevent over-eating and to keep blood sugar levels stable.