Men’s best eating tips for every decade of life

 Hungry young man eating sandwich at home

Men’s best eating tips for every decade of life

Take a look into a typical man’s grocery cart and here’s likely what you’ll find – chips, frozen pizza, hamburger, soda, white bread –not the healthiest foods but are probably mainstays of what he is subsisting on. 

Men, just like women, should pay attention to what they bring home from the grocery store.  Foods he has chosen can either make or break health concerns he may develop over his lifetime.  That’s why at any age, guys should approach their dietary needs based on what foods and nutrients he needs to support his health as the decades go by. 

Here are simple dietary strategies men should follow and focus on to eat better and feel better for life:

In your 20s and 30s 

·      Be smart on how many protein drinks consumed 

Men love their protein drinks and they are the main users with 63 percent of those ages 18 to 34 consuming them.  Protein is an important nutrient, necessary for building and maintaining muscles mass.  However, be careful of their calorie content. Some protein drinks can contain upwards of 300 calories or more plus over 50 grams of sugar which can quickly add on extra pounds.  The daily protein intake for a man is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. Men who strength trains a few times a week need 0.5 to 0.6 grams per pound.  That means 64 to 103 grams per day for a man weighing 175 pounds. 

Protein drinks are not the only source of this nutrient.  Men can also get quality sources of protein from having a cup of oatmeal with sliced almonds and a hard-boiled egg at breakfast, a turkey sandwich with cheese and a cup of lentil soup for lunch, and 4 ounces of salmon, a sweet potato and five broccoli spears for dinner and he will have consumed 93 grams of protein.

·      Eat more fruits and vegetables, less fast food to improve fertility

A steady diet of fast food burgers and fries are no friend to male fertility.  To have healthy sperm and to improve your chances of conceiving a healthy baby, eat your produce.  Men who eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will be improving their intake of antioxidants, substances produce abundantly provide. 

An antioxidant rich diet may help preserve sperm quality in men, suggests a study by researchers from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.  Men who consumed higher intakes of vitamins C and E along with the mineral zinc produced sperm with less DNA damage, compared to those with lower intakes.  Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce the oxidative damage to sperm and keep sperm swimming strong and healthy.

In your 40s and 50s

 

·      Choose the hues of red

 

Even though a diagnosis of prostate cancer is uncommon in men under 50, once past this milestone birthday, a man’s risk will increase.  It is during this stage of life that men should focus on filling up on foods of various shades of red – guava, pink grapefruit, tomatoes, and watermelon are some of the best foods men can be filling their plate with.  The reason is because of an antioxidant called lycopene.  Research has found lycopene has powerful abilities on decreasing the risk of prostate cancer.

 

The best sources of lycopene are cooked tomato products such as tomato sauce and tomato paste.  The reason is because water lost through the cooking process increases the concentration of lycopene and that appears to make it more bioavailable.

 

·      If you drink, do so moderately

Overweight and obesity affects up to three-quarters of American men and part of the reason why are excess calories from alcoholic beverages. Many people do not compensate by eating less when they are drinking.  Men may have several beers or cocktails while eating a meal forgetting the amount of calories that are adding up.  Plus alcohol may stimulate food intake making it even more difficult to lose weight.  All men should follow the Dietary Guidelines of drinking in moderation which for men is to consume no more than 2 drinks per day, if they choose to drink. 

·      Follow the DASH diet to prevent gout

A form of arthritis called gout is more likely to occur in men than women.  Gout is a buildup of uric acid in the blood and can cause painful inflammation in joints.  Men who eat a heart healthy DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet have a 22 percent lower risk of developing gout than men who eat a typical Western-style diet of red meat, refined grains, salt and sugar.  The DASH emphasizes men to eat more vegetables, fruits, nus, beans, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and to keep sodium intake less than 2,300 mg a day.

·      Choose more plant protein foods

Men love their red meat, poultry, and fish but including more plant-based protein sources is a wise move to make.  Researchers from Bellarmine University of Kentucky tracked more than 6,000 adults over the age of 50.  Those who ate a diet rich in animal protein – including meat and dairy – were four times more likely to die of cancer than those who ate a lower animal-based protein diet by consuming more foods such as nuts, beans, and whole grains.

In your 60s and beyond

·      Eat regular meals

For men who are living alone and may be skipping meals, use meals as an excuse to socialize.  Have a regular dinner date with friends or relatives.  Eating with others stimulates the appetite and encourages more nutritious food choices.

·      Protect your prostate by eating heart-healthy foods

Men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer can manage the disease from progressing by choosing foods that are good for the heart which are also good for the prostate.  These foods include eating more fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, nuts and seeds, beans, lean meat, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables – at least 5 servings a day.

·      Nourish brain health

Following the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) may help prevent age-related cognitive decline.  Scientists at Rush University in Chicago tracked the diet of nearly 1,000 older adults for 4 ½ years and found those who ate plenty of vegetables – especially leafy greens like spinach – and nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine – had brain functioning that was 7 ½ years younger than those whose diets consisted of red meat, butter, margarine, cheese, sweets, and fast food.

·      Protect your muscle mass

A condition called sarcopenia or age-related muscle mass begins developing already as early as in your 40s resulting in as much as a 50 percent loss of muscle mass by age 80.  To prevent frailty, loss of balance and strength, and possibly independence, men should eat about 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day to help maintain muscle mass.  Protein rich foods include eggs, Greek yogurt, lean red meat, chicken, fish, lentils, beans, and tofu.  Also, lifting weights at least twice a week will help slow down loss of muscle.