|| DukeMedNews || Staying Healthy throughout Menopause

Suggested lead: Children aren’t the only ones who need to be reminded to eat their vegetables. Tom Britt has more.

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Nutritional needs change as we get older. Marilyn Sparling is a registered dietician with Duke University Medical Center. She says women entering menopause need to start watching for signs of osteoporosis, heart disease, and if weight is a problem, diabetes and hypertension. One way to fight osteoporosis is to increase calcium intake. The obvious source is milk, but some people either don’t like milk, or are allergic to it. For these people, Sparling recommends more vegetables in the diet, primarily greens, like broccoli, spinach, and turnip greens.

“It’s not really that hard to get it in your diet, although some people just don’t like those foods, and then a calcium supplement is appropriate. I also think for a woman over 50 it’s not a bad idea to take a basic multi-vitamin. One that’s formulated for women over 50.”

Sparling stresses that such specially formulated multi-vitamins have more D, B, and E and less iron. Sparling advises to stay away from highly processed foods and anything that has saturated fat, “trans-fat” or hydrogenated oils. I’m Tom Britt.

Sparling says when it comes to calcium, more can sometimes lead to too much.

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“Most menopausal women, from age 50 on, need somewhere between one thousand and 15 hundred milligrams. It’s okay to go a little higher, but no one should go over 2 thousand because there can be some risks.”