Women and Nutrition | USN Life
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Women and Nutrition

By Team USN | 04 August 2015 | 59 comments

Women and Nutrition

While everyone should enjoy a balanced diet, women’s nutritional needs can vary significantly from those of men. The recommendations on women’s health may change regularly, but stick to these core guidelines for long-term success.

  • Eat a variety of foods
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, with plenty of vegetables, fruits and grain productssandra
  • Use sugar and salt or sodium only in moderation
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation

However, certain parts of a healthy diet have special importance for women.

Vitamins and Minerals

There are several vitamins and minerals essential to a healthy diet. However, women need to pay special attention to two minerals, calcium and iron.

Calcium

Both women and men need enough calcium to build peak (maximum) bone mass during their early years of life. Low calcium intake appears to be one important factor in the development of osteoporosis. Women have a greater risk than men of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which progressive loss of bone mass occurs with aging, and causes the bones to be more susceptible to fracture. If a woman has a high level of bone mass when her skeleton matures, this may modify her risk of developing osteoporosis.

Therefore women should increase their calcium intake, especially during adolescence and early adulthood. Choose low-fat dairy items like low-fat cheese, yoghurts and skimmed milk to increase your calcium intake. Other good sources of calcium include salmon, vegetables like broccoli, tofu, seeds and nuts.

Iron

Women need more iron than men because they lose iron each month during menstruation. Without enough iron, anaemia – iron deficiency – can develop and cause symptoms including fatigue and headaches. After menopause, body iron stores generally rise so women over 50 who suffer from iron deficiency should consult their doctor for other causes.

Good sources of iron include animal products, especially meat, fish and poultry. These contain heme iron, which is well absorbed by the intestine. Non-heme iron – usually found in leafy green vegetables and wholegrain products – is not as well absorbed as heme-iron but a diet that contains Vitamin C can increase the amount of iron absorbed by the body.

Cholesterol

Women tend to have higher levels than men of a desirable type of cholesterol called HDLs (high-density lipoproteins) until menopause. However, it’s still important for women to have a limited intake of saturated fat and cholesterol. Cholesterol is found in food from animal sources, especially egg yolks, dairy products, meat, poultry and shellfish.

Fatwomenshealthshop

Diets that are high in fat have been linked to particular cancers, especially breast cancer and colorectal cancer. However, fat should not be eliminated from your diet entirely. Fats provide energy and help in vitamin-absorption, but your intake of fats – especially saturated fat – should be limited. Food with high levels of saturated fat include meats and other animal products, including butter, cream and cheese. Additionally, coconut oil and palm kernel oil is very high in saturated fat. Conversely, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fat is found in plant-based oils, like sunflower, corn and safflower oil, while monounsaturated fats are contained in olive and canola oil.

Fibre

A rich-fibre diet may be related to lower rates of colon cancer, as it helps move waste from the colon more quickly. Fibre also promotes a full-feeling, meaning that it can help to avoid over-eating. If you’re planning to improve your fibre intake, start slowly so your body has time to adjust. Adding too much fibre too quickly may lead to abdominal discomfort, flatulence and diarrhoea. Fibre-rich foods include vegetables, peas, beans, oats, wholegrain products and fruit.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Team USN

Training plans, diet tips and the latest news from USN. Written by a member of our team of fitness and nutrition specialists.

59 thoughts on “Women and Nutrition

  1. kirstie September 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    i’ve been using other weight loss (meal replacement) supplements and and i was wondering if i use the usn products how quick are the results if you train 3-4 times a week and if you have the supplements every day :D
    i’m rather interested in using the oats ??

  2. Annie April 17, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I’m interested to know whether the amount of carbohydrates in the protein shake affects weight loss.

    Is this the only carbohydrate to consume on days when you are not training ?

  3. helga June 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Hello.
    I have very skinny legs and arm and am petite in size but I want to build muscle.( I do not want to loose weight) I have started taking whey protein plus 2 to 3 times a day and doing some light exercising until I gain some strength. I also bought the muscle fuel sts and was wondering where I could fit it in between taking the whey protein plus.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Team USN August 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Hi Helga, try replacing one of your Whey shakes with the STS and measure the effects

  4. Dally July 15, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Hi I want to tone my stomach but do not want to lose weight.. What can I do in terms of exercise and dietary requirements inc shakes

  5. Cat August 15, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Hi. I was wondering which USN products would be ideal if I want to gain weight. I have a crazy metabolism and I have failed to gain weight this past year, I am currently under weight according to my BMI despite increase in food intake and going to gym to pick up weight. I have even had medical tests done and results have shown that everything is fine including my thyroid. I have tried EVERYTHING! Please help:(

    • Team USN August 21, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Hi Cat, a progression increase in your daily calorie allowance would be ideal, so you can track you progress. Try Muscle Fuel STS or Muscle Fuel Mass, both high nutritional values and great tasting.

  6. Danielle Henderson August 21, 2014 at 8:09 am

    I was wondering, what would be the best supplements to me to use if I wanted to get rid of a bit of stubborn fat and add some muscle?

    • Team USN August 21, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Hi Danielle, our CLA capsules would be ideal, we have a variety so check them out!

      • Danielle Henderson August 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm

        The little bit of fat is mainly around my waist. Other than that I just need to tone up! :)

  7. Queen September 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    I want to gain weight and I just bought The USN tripple omega… Am skinny I want to know if the tripple omega wud help me in gaining weight..

    • Team USN September 2, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Our Triple Omega can offer a variety of health benefits. To gain weight, you should increase your calorific intake with a mix of our supplements, changing your diet and your training.

  8. Marge September 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I need to loose my last 10kg, I burn, on average, 500 cal at the gym 3 times a week, But it will not shift. I was wondering if a nutritional imbalance was holding this weight on. Plus if the right type of balance would help to part this 10kg from me. I am 40 and have been regularly building up fitness at the gym for 18 months, or so. I am also disabled with osteoarthritis, so need some advice on which supplements would benefit both my mobility and health. Any ideas?

    • Team USN September 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Marge, our Active Joint Plex tablets and our EFA Triple Omega are formulated to provide numerous joint and health benefits. Combined with a healthy diet, we’d also suggest our CLA Green Tea capsules to help your weight control challenge.

  9. Mesh September 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Hi i want to maintain my weight and tone up what do you recomment. I also wanna keep my bum big and firm

    • Team USN September 16, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Mesh, toning requires hard work in the gym a great diet and a high-quality protein supplement, such as our Whey Protein Premium

  10. Annie September 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Hie
    I’m 18 years old i’m underweight according to my BMI and i also believe i have a fast metabolism rate cause i eat a lot but i don’t gain weight :(
    I’m looking for something that will help me gain weight.
    Some people have told me to try out
    -Muscle Fuel Mass
    -Muscle Fuel STS
    Hyperbolic Mass
    -Crash protein shake weight gainer
    -Whey protein
    -Creatin
    Does any one of these work?If not which one should i take to gain weight?
    I don’t know if i should take any of these or you
    have better suggestions i have been eating as much
    as i can but i’m not gaining any weight.This is
    affecting me with my studies,i don’t have enough
    energy which sucks cause i have to walk to and from school.I’m not as fit all the time,It’s really affecting me
    HELP!!!!

    • Team USN September 16, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Annie, that’s a lot to try out, we’d recommend starting with a pre-workout, like our Sports Ener-G and our Muscle Fuel STS as you post-workout shake, let us know how you get on.

  11. Sinos October 11, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Hi, I exercise 3-4 times a week. My weight is fine but my aim is to tone and reduce cellulite appearance. Please recommend a product I can use.

    • Team USN October 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Hi Sinos, our CLA 1000 capsules target fat storage, combine this with healthy eating and exercise and you should hit your goals.

  12. Anna October 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Hi I’m currently having 1x Ultralean diet fuel shake a day either for breakfast or lunch but I’m wanting to lose weight and have been told I need to be on the diet whey? I go to the gym 3/4 times a week.

    • Team USN October 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Hi Anna, as long as the rest of your diet it healthy, Diet Fuel Ultralean is a fantastic meal replacement shake.

  13. tatty October 16, 2014 at 6:09 am

    am very slim what usn products can l take to gain weight l weigh less than 50kg

  14. Anna January 11, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    I’m training to climb Kilimanjaro in 6 months time. I’m doing 5/6 workouts a week with a day’s rest. It’s been suggested I need some protein to help my recovery as after hard workouts my legs can be quite sore for a few days. I’m not worried about losing weight but I don’t want to gain any and the amount of calories in a lot of the supplements concern me. What would you suggest?

    • Rob Di Franco January 12, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Anna, our Pure Protein GF-1 is low in calories, fat and carbs… it’s a premium protein supplement aimed at muscle recovery, find out more here: http://uk.usn-sport.com/en/pure-protein-gf1

  15. Eve January 14, 2015 at 10:04 am

    All this stuff really confuses me! I only have around half a stone to lose most of which is around my stomach area. I really need to tone more than anything. I train at taekwondo 3/4 times a week and at the gym 2/3 times a week. What products would you recommend for me? Thanks

    • Team USN January 22, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Eve, I’d recommend our Diet Fuel UltraLean and CLA Green Tea. The Diet Fuel is a nutritious meal replacement shake aimed at supporting your recovery and lean muscle whilst our CLA Green Tea can support your weight loss challenge whilst having the benefits of Green Tea included.

  16. Charlene Radenberg January 19, 2015 at 3:33 am

    I’m a 31year mother of 3 kids and started on usn pedra cut lipo xt 3 months ago and lost 9kgs but would like to build muscles now but don’t know what supps to use?

    • Team USN January 22, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Hi Charlene, we’d recommend adding a protein shake to your diet such as our Pure Protein GF-1, support your lean muscle challenge.

  17. Nora March 2, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Hi there,

    I am 30 and newly joined a fitness classes once or twice a week only. I want to lose weight, tone & reduce cellulite appearance and I have BIG of nearly everything! Big arms, thighs, belly and calves. My size is 16. Any suggestions of your product I can use? Please let me know and thank you very much, indeed!

    • Team USN March 18, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      Hi Nora, it’s great that you’re training, in terms of nutrition, we’d recommend a meal replacement supplement such as Diet Fuel, this supplement contains a healthy amount of nutritents to support your challenge. You may also like to try Hyperlean, a great tasting beverage, ideal to consume before your training, and helps you make the most out of every session.

  18. Danielle March 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Hi I’m 22 an im between sizes 8/10 but the 8 is slightly tight I would like to go down to a comfy 8 an loose around half a stone to a stone, ive used your shakes before an thought it was great but I was wondering if you could recomend me to any to help me loose weight an tone up at the same time as I will be goin the gym 4-5 times a week what do you recomend thanks.

    • Team USN March 24, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Hi Danielle, first of all, it’s great that you’re setting yourself challenges. Going to the gym 4/5 times a week is fantastic, now it’s about combining this with a nutritious diet. I’d recommend you try our Diet Fuel, a great tasting meal replacement which will support your goals. Another product which may interest you is Hyperlean, a delicious beverage to take before your workout to support your energy levels and recovery. Many Thanks and #ChallengeYourself

  19. Lizzie June 29, 2015 at 6:43 am

    I am 45 and want to tone up, reduce cellulite appearancce as well as tone up and flatten the tummy. I also want to reduce/attack the fat around the stomach; I do not want to lose weight. I train 5 times a day. My goal is to have a toned and well sculptured body. Please recomment the best products. Thank you.

    • Team USN August 19, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Hi Lizzie, for your goals, we’d recommend two important products, one is CLA & Green Tea; is capsule aimed at targeting fat storage and improve your general health, also we’d recommend BCAA PowerPunch, containing essential amino acids supporting your muscle function and helping prevent muscle fatigue, you’ll be able to train longer and reach your goals.

  20. THERESA MUSONDA August 21, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    I want to lose weight so much,i will be going to the gym,5 days in a week,what can I use to help me lose 20kgs? Help!

    • TeamUSN September 23, 2015 at 9:04 am

      Hi Theresa, where do you think your diet needs to improve? Are your meals unhealthy, are you snacking? We recommend Diet Fuel for those who want to improve their nutrition on a particular meal, as after all, it is a meal replacement shake. If you feel like your snacking quite often, try our Diet Whey Bars, satisfying your sweet tooth and getting rid of those hunger cravings. #TeamUSN

  21. Tamsyn Rogers August 30, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Hi,

    I am in my mid 20s and used to be naturally in shape, but have put on 2 stone over the passed two years. I have recently joined the gym and am going to 5 classes a week. I did a silly fad diet a while ago and lost a stone but it went on again not long after giving up.
    Ideally I’d like to lose two stone as I have now got into a good exercise routine. But I was wondering if the ultra lean meal replacement shake would help me to lose weight? Especially as it’s so easy and takes no time to prepare! Any advice would be great. Thanks!

    Tamsyn x

    • Team USN September 8, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Hi Tamsyn yeah that would be the ideal shake for yourself, if it’s the diet you need to concentrate on Diet Fuel Ulta Lean provides a perfect meal replacement, providing you with great nutritional support, whilst satisfying your hunger cravings. #TeamUSN

    • Team USN September 23, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Hi Tamsyn, absolutely, we recommend this shake if you want to replace a meal which you find isn’t contributing to your healthy diet. The Diet Fule provides fantastic nutritional value to help you on the way to lose the unwanted weight. #TeamUSN

  22. Anonymous November 16, 2015 at 8:39 am

    hi, i have lost a lot of weight and wants to tone up and build muscle. what protein would be ideal for me?

    • Team USN December 2, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Hi, we’d recommend Lean-8, for those looking to focus on their lean muscle challenge, it has a variety of slow-to-fast digesting proteins to support your muscles throughout the day.

  23. Sammy November 24, 2015 at 7:08 am

    hi.

    im 22 years old and i wear sizes 6 & 8.. i go to Virgin Active 3/4 per week but im struggling to lose the fat around my tummy. i’d like to mantain my weight which is around 51 – 54kg but lose the fat on my tummy. what supplements or shakes can i take.

    thamks.

    • Team USN December 2, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Hi Sammy, if you’re looking to tone your stomach, the main area to focus on is your diet. Diet Fuel offers a great tasting meal replacement to make sure you’re getting the right nutrition to support your goals.

  24. Tino December 14, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Hi
    So I am a slim female and I want to maintain the weight that I’ve got but at the same time I want toned abs and a shaped bum
    What products can I use ?

  25. Laone January 4, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Iam a lady of 30 and am very skinny would like to gain weight so what do you recommend

    • Team USN January 25, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Hi Laone, if it’s just a bit of weight you need to add, you need to supplement your diet with extra nutrients and calories, you could try one of our protein bars to enhance your intake here: http://uk.usn-sport.com/en/products/protein-bars-beverages

  26. sthembiso January 5, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Good Day

    Please kindly assist me, i need to lose weight . i have big arms , thighs and also a very big tummy. how can i do it and which USN products can i use.

    regards
    sthembiso

    • Team USN January 25, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Hi, this all depends on your diet and training – if you’re looking to optimise your diet, your could try Diet Fuel, our great tasting Meal replacement shake. If you need to step-up your training, try our B4-BOMB, a pre-workout which will prepare you for an intense workout! #TeamUSN

  27. YICEL April 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    hello, i would like to loss at least 15 kilos, iam overweigt, but i have a problems with thyroides, if i start to use diet fuel once a day, that can help me otherwise i would like to have some advise please. thank you so much.

    • Team USN June 20, 2016 at 10:17 am

      Hi, Diet Fuel is ideal to replace 1 or 2 of your meals during the day. Training at least 3 times a week will also be a great help.

  28. Belz January 10, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Good Day, I’m trying to build some muscles around my thighs and gain a bit of weight in that area but instead i’m losing weight and my weight goes up and down often when i weigh myself at the gym. Which product can i use to assist in not losing weight but building muscle.
    I’m currently using hardcore whey gh, fast grow anabolic and creatine transport system shakes. Please advise

    • Team USN January 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      Hi, your weight may fluctuate because of your diet, the supplements you are taking are ideal for your challenge and you’re on the right track, keep up the hard work.

  29. Missy January 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    HI,

    i am considering taking Pure Protein GF-1 for my abs , but i need to know whether i will pick up weight if i start and then stop taking it.

    i dont want to gain weight.

    • Team USN January 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Missy, GF-1 is ideal, it’s a protein supplement with minimal carbs which is perfect for your challenge, it ensures you won’t gain weight but it will help your ab challenge!

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