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The most important characteristic of a healthy diet is balance of food types, and of intake and output. Low protein intake is associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. There is controversy about whether high animal protein intake increases the risk of fractures in women. Menopausal women are at increased risk for osteoporosis, especially if they are Caucasian and/or thin. The best calcium source is dairy products. Three servings provide the recommended daily allowance of 1000 mg. With fewer women taking hormone replacement therapy, more women are looking for alternatives to control menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes. The type of natural product most commonly used for menopausal symptoms are phytoestrogens or plant estrogens. Eating disorders are most commonly associated with younger women: teenagers and young adults. The recommended diet for people with diabetes should contain carbohydrate, protein, and fat in reasonable proportions.
Victoria S. Kaprielian, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA,
Gwendolyn Murphy, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA,
Cathrine Hoyo, Department of community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA
A healthy diet is a concern of people of all ages. Two models that are useful regarding the proper balance of food types are the Food Pyramid and the New American Plate. Many patients are interested in the possibility of reducing cancer risk through diet. The relationship between diet and cancer is controversial and an area of active research. Strong evidence supports an association between obesity and increased morbidity and mortality. Recent research has linked excessive weight and body fat to a dysmetabolic syndrome, which includes diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. Eating disorders are associated most commonly with younger women-teenagers and young adults. Malnutrition is the most frequently identified determinant of severity of illness and death among cancer patients. Maintaining a balanced dietary intake helps storage of nutrients, decreases risk of infection, and accelerates healing and recovery.
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