Live Long & Eat Well
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2. CHOOSE ORGANIC Buy whole organic foods as close to their original form as possible, says Luise Light, M.Ed., Ed.D, adjunct professor at Keene State College in Keene, N.H., and author of What to Eat. "The food tastes better, stays fresher longer, and tends to have higher levels of nutrients than commercially grown foods from soils and plants heavily treated with pesticides," she notes. Look for the USDA stamp certifying the food is organic, which means it's been grown without synthetic chemical pesticides. If cost is an issue, consider joining an organic food co-op.
3. CALCULATE YOUR CALCIUM Both men and women lose about 0.4 percent of their bone mass each year after age 30. But women lose an additional 1 percent to 2 percent of bone mass annually for five to eight years after menopause. To protect yourself, up your intake of calcium-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, beans, and whole grains, and get plenty of vitamin D. Dairy products are loaded with calcium, but pick organic, lower-fat versions like skim or 1 percent milk, says geriatrician Harrison G. Bloom, M.D., senior associate and director of the Clinical Educational Consultation Service in New York City. Women, in particular, need to supplement with 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams a day of calcium, plus 400 to 800 IUs of vitamin D.