Good nutrition plays a positive role in good health, self-sufficiency, and quality of life. An individual’s dietary intake will be affected as they undergo changes in their lives and move from one stage of life to the next. Adequate nutrition is necessary to maintain cognitive and physical functioning, to prevent, reduce, and manage chronic disease and disease-related disabilities, and to sustain health and a good quality of life (Menu and Nutrition Requriements).
To meet the body’s daily nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, an AMDR, Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range, was established for carbohydrate to be 45-65% of total calories, for fat, 20-35% of total calories, and for protein, 10-35% of total calories. It is also suggested that no more than 25% of total calories come from added sugars (Menu and Nutrition Requriements). The RDA is the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement for nearly all healthy individuals of a specified age range and gender.
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The following presentation will outline the nutrition needs for both a man and a woman throughout the various stages of life. Food provides the energy and nutrients that a body needs to be healthy. Breast milk and formula provide adequate nutrition for an infant. They both contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals for a baby. Children under the age of 2 need up to 50 percent of their calories to come from fat. Whole milk is a good source for fat after age one (Infant and Toddler Nutrition). But, after age two or three, you can switch to low-fat milk.
As an infant grows, the daily recommended intakes of protein, fat, and water increase at small incremental rates. This occurs because their weight increases at a gradual pace; therefore, their nutritional values for each day also increase. After age one, it is important to watch out for iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can affect a child’s physical, mental, and behavioral development, and also can lead to anemia (Feeding Your 1- o 2-Year-Old, 2008). 500 mg of calcium is recommended for toddlers between the age of one and three. After the age of three, dietary fiber is important because it might prevent diseases later on.
Do not feed a baby eggs, citrus fruits and juices, cow’s milk or honey until after the age of one, and no seafood, peanuts or tree nuts before age two or three. A healthy diet helps children grow and learn and also helps to prevent obesity and weight-related diseases, such as diabetes. During the teen years, males generally have higher nutritional needs than females. Males also usually have a greater rate of growth for a longer period of time and therefore, require more nutrients for the development of bone, blood volume and lean tissue.
In addition, males gain proportionately more muscle mass during puberty than females and since muscle tissue is more metabolically active, males have a higher metabolic rate. Males require more calories per day and have increased needs for zinc, vitamin A, E and some B vitamins. Females require more iron and folic acid in their dietary intake. However, by eating the recommended servings from the Food Guide Pyramid, with careful attention to getting enough calcium, nutritional needs for both male and female teenagers can usually be met (Q&A/Articles, 2009). Healthy eating is not difficult.
Instead, healthy eating is a common-sense approach to food that is easy to live with. The healthy eating guidelines are developed to promote overall health while reducing the risk of developing nutrition-related diseases like cancer and heart disease (Healthy Eating Guidelines). These guidelines are directed to both healthy males and healthy females who are over the age of 14. Some of the major nutrients required for men and women, as adults, are similar to those required as older adults. Some of the differences in the required amounts include the amount of calcium, iron, fiber acids intake for women, and the required amount of fiber for men.
The required amount of calcium intake for women under 50 years old is 1,000 mg. Women over 50 are recommended to increase this amount. Iron intake, on the other hand, decreases with age. 18 mg per day is the recommended daily amount of iron intake for women under 50. 25 grams of fiber is recommended to women under 50 and those over 50 require only 21 grams of fiber. The recommended amount of fiber intake for adult men and older men also changes. Men over 50 require 30 grams of fiber per day where, men under 50 require 38 grams per day. The required amounts of iron and calcium for men stay the same throughout the various stages of life.
In order for a mother to ensure that her body can gave her unborn baby the nourishment that they require to develop and grow, it is essential that the mother provides her body with good nutrition. For a pregnant woman, a healthy diet is crucial to having a healthy pregnancy (Pregnancy Nutrition). In general, it is recommended that pregnant women increase their daily intake of energy by 100 calories in the first trimester and 300 calories in the second and third trimesters. This is equivalent to having a snack before bedtime consisting of fruit, milk or yogurt, and a few biscuits.
Folic acid, or foliate, supports the increasing maternal blood volume and decreases the risk of baby Neural Tube Defects (NTD). It is not possible to provide enough foliate through diet alone, therefore, women are recommended to start taking a daily foliate supplement of 400 ug (0. 4mg) 3 months prior to conception and continue through the first 3 months of pregnancy (Pregnancy Nutrition). Requirements of iron are increased during pregnancy because iron is essential to maintaining a sufficient level of blood supply to the placenta and to the growing baby.
Women cannot store enough iron to meet the increased requirements during pregnancy and are recommended to take a daily low dose iron supplement (30mg) during their second and third trimesters. It is important for all pregnant women to help prevent iron deficiency anemia by eating more iron-rich foods like lean red meat, fish, poultry, dried fruits, whole-grain breads, and iron-fortified cereals. During pregnancy, the baby gets the necessary calcium needed for healthy bones and teeth from the mother’s supply. If the calcium intake of the mother is insufficient, calcium supplements may be recommended.
It is recommended to include 10,000 -13,000 mg of calcium and 200IU of Vitamin D in your diet during pregnancy. That is equivalent to approximately 4 ??? 6 servings of dairy products or calcium-fortified foods a day. There are several foods to avoid during pregnancy. Some of these dietary cautions include, but are not limited to; Caffeine, seafood, artificial sweeteners, and chamomile tea. One major difference in the nutritional needs of older males, as opposed to older females, is in the amount of calcium they need in their diets. Calcium is effective in both men and women for lowering the risk of osteoporosis.
A diet high in calcium and Vitamin D has also been proven to lower risk of bone fractures, and it plays a role in regulating blood pressure. However, while the necessary, or recommended amount of calcium for women over 50, increases to 1,200mg, too much calcium can be harmful to an older male. Men who consume high levels of calcium from foods and supplements have an increased risk of prostate cancer. The recommended amount of calcium for men of all ages is 800 mg. which is equivalent to not more than 3 servings of dairy per day. Another difference between the nutritional needs of older males and older females is the amount of iron they need.
Obviously, women require more iron than men because of women’s monthly menstrual cycles, but once again, too much iron in a male’s diet can be associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. The recommended amount of iron for men of all ages is 8 mg. where the recommended amount for women is 18 mg per day until the post-menopausal age where it drops down to only 8 mg per day. Protein provides energy and is important in growth and repair. The requirement of protein in a person’s diet is calculated based on 0. 8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Since men generally weigh more than women, they require more protein in their diets. Many people eat more protein than they require and since excess protein accelerates calcium loss in urine, women with a high risk of osteoporosis should be careful not to eat too much protein. Regardless of body size, it has been estimated that 60 grams of protein daily is sufficient for both healthy men and women. This is equivalent to eight ounces of meat. When it comes to fiber intake, men require more fiber than women because men in general need more calories than women.
Men of 50 require 30 grams of fiber which is equivalent to at least three cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit. Women over 50 only require 21 grams of fiber per day. This is equivalent to at least two cups of vegetables and 1 ? cups of fruit. There is currently no official nutritional recommendation for the amount of omega 3 fatty acids that women should eat, however, it has been recommended that until more is known about the risks of prostate cancer, due to an omega 3 known as, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), men have been advised to avoid taking concentrated ALA supplements such as flaxseed oil pills.
Other Omega 3 fatty acids benefit both, men and women, because they have been shown to help lower triglycerides and increase the good HDL cholesterol, as well as, act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting (Gloria Tsang, 2006). In conclusion, people of all ages should aim for fitness, build a healthy base, and choose sensibly, when developing their eating habits and healthy diets. Choose a lifestyle that combines sensible eating with regular physical activity. No single food can supply all the nutrients in the amounts that an ndividual needs so choose the recommended number of daily servings from each of the five major food groups to ensure that you get all the nutrients that you need. Choosing a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat is also an important factor in choosing a healthy diet and establishing good eating habits. Always emphasize the importance of physical activity along with a healthy diet. It is recommended that adults strive for an “active” lifestyle that is equivalent to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity throughout each day (Menu and Nutrition Requriements). REFERENCES