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Generally, in order to stay healthy, we should all have a balanced diet, stay active, and make the best lifestyle choices possible. 


However, there are some differences between men and women’s nutritional needs at different stages of life.. For example, women need to consider how nutrition and lifestyle factors can influence their health during the menopause.   


In this section, we share general tips for women’s health and further information on menopause, nutrition advice for women, alcohol intake, physical activity and key health

Aim for a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and mental health problem. Even small amounts of weight loss can benefit health.


Keep active – aim for at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of ‘moderate activity’ – that’s the type of activity where you raise your heartbeat. This could include short periods of activity such as 10 minute brisk walks as part of your routine. You should also do muscle strengthening exercises like sit ups/press ups 2 days per week.

Eat more of

Typically women in the UK need to:

Eat more fibre

Base meals on fibre-rich foods, like wholegrain breakfast cereals, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal bread, brown rice and include pulses (such as lentils and beans), unsalted nuts and seeds in your diet.

Eat more fish

If you eat fish, try to eat at least two portions of sustainably sourced fish a week, one of which should be oily (such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout).

Eat more fruit and veg

Try to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. Fresh, canned, frozen, dried and 150ml of unsweetened juice all count.


If you are worried about any aspect of your health do not keep quiet, speak to your GP or pharmacist in the first instance.


Helena Gibson-Moore, Nutrition Scientist, British Nutrition Foundation

Have less

Typically women in the UK need to:

Red meat

Keep an eye on of how much red and processed meat you eat. 


Government advice is that, if you on average eat more than 90g (cooked weight) of red and processed meat a day, cut down to 70g a day.

Saturated fat

Cut down on saturated fat– cut back on biscuits, cakes, pies, pastries, chocolate and cream.


Choose unsaturated oils such as rapeseed, olive and sunflower for cooking, salad dressings and spreading. Try to choose low-fat dairy foods wherever possible. 


Watch your salt intake – it’s recommended we have less than 6g (about a teaspoon) of salt a day.


Check the nutrition label on foods, choose reduced salt versions of foods, and do not add salt in cooking or at the table.


Limit alcohol intake – if you drink alcohol, try to drink no more than 14 units a week, with several alcohol-free days each week.

The NHS has more information on calculating units.

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Please note that advice provided on our website about nutrition and health is general in nature. We do not provide any individualised advice on prevention, treatment and management for patients or their family members.