Protein and Women’s Health – The Good and the Bad News


Men and women may be equals in many ways, but there is no mistaking that they are biologically different and that they have different needs to keep their bodies working at their peak. Women face different health challenges than men and may deal with other diseases in different ways. Some of the most common conditions that can face both men and women include: cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, diabetes and obesity. Of these conditions, obesity may have the most impact on overall health as it can cause or worsen the effects of the other conditions.

What Are the Differences in Nutritional Needs for Men and Women?

Everybody needs the three macronutrients, carbohydrates, fats and proteins in their diet, as well as the many micronutrients that they get from healthy and well balanced diets. However, men and women need differing amounts, as do adult women and girls. Every stage in a woman’s life gives her different health challenges and different nutritional needs. For adults:

Calcium:

– Women under 50 need 1000 mg per day

– Over 50 need 1200 mg per day

– Men need 800 mg, the amount in about three servings of dairy (too much calcium can lead to prostate cancer in men)

Iron:

– Women under 50 need 18 mg per day

– Women over 50 need 8 mg per day

– Men need 8 mg per day

Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

No established nutritional needs or guidelines for amount however, men should only get Omega 3s from marine based sources because of the threat of prostate cancer from other sources.

Protein:

Need based on height, weight and activity level for both men and women.

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