Food for fuel
Elisa Sloss, RD, LD
A: It’s an unfortunate fact of life that metabolism slows as we age and lose muscle mass, therefore we burn fewer calories. Men start to lose muscle mass after age 30, so they need to start eating less if they want to maintain their weight. Men in their 50s need about 200 fewer calories per day than men in their 30s.
Q: Should diet change according to age?
Q: Why do men need more calories?
A: Men have more lean muscle mass and testosterone, all of which contribute to burning energy (calories) faster. That’s why they need more calories to sustain them throughout the day.
Q: Why do men get beer bellies?
A: Many men have a tendency to gain weight in their stomachs as they age. A beer belly—or spare tire—is simply belly fat caused by eating too many calories. While beer can contribute to additional calorie intake, men can also gain belly fat from consuming too much of any food or beverage with excess fat or sugar. Beer also can interfere with how quickly men burn calories. Carrying extra belly fat can be dangerous and increases the risk of several ailments, including cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer and insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes. Regular checkups with a doctor are important.
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Q: Do men need to eat differently than women?
A: No and yes. The types of foods don’t differ, everyone needs the same nutritious food (see Food For Fuel). But men do require more calories than women. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, men should consume between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day, depending on their age and activity level, which is slightly higher than women whose calorie needs fall between 1,600 and 2,400.
Q: How can men stay healthy as they get older?
A: Eating the right foods and working out can help offset the slowing metabolism, but cutting out harmful behavior like smoking, and drinking in moderation are also important.
Keep the body functioning properly by eating the right combination of foods.
Seafood, lean red meat and plant-based sources like beans, peas and soy
Whole grain bread, pasta and cereal; brown rice; oats; barley; lentils; fruits and vegetables
Olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds and avocados
Only 50 percent of men engage in preventive
care, according to the cleveland clinic. Wellness checks, along with diet and exercise, can help prevent common ailments.
International men’s health week
Here is a general checklist of important tests that may need to increase in frequency as you age.
At age 45, men should get their blood glucose levels tested every 3 years. Younger men who are overweight should also have their levels tested.
Prostate Cancer Screening:
At age 50, most men should get their first prostate screening. However, Black men and those with a history of prostate cancer in their close family may want to get tested starting in their mid-40s.
Men should get screened for osteoporosis (brittle bones) starting at age 50, especially those who have used steroids, suffered a bone fracture after the age of 50, have low body weight, or have a family history of osteoporosis.
Colon Cancer Screening:
Men ages 50 to 75 should be screened for colon cancer. Men who have a family history of colon cancer should get screened sooner, as should younger men with a history of polyps or inflammatory bowel disease.
Blood Pressure Screening:
Beginning at about age 20, men should have their blood pressure checked every other year, and at age 40, the checks should be done annually.
Men should have their fasting lipoprotein profile (looks at both good HDL and bad LDL cholesterol) checked about every 5 years, starting at age 20. Screening should be done more frequently for those who have chronically high cholesterol levels.
Note: Consult with a physician for screenings that are appropriate for you.
The right type of movement
Mix up the types of exercises you do to keep your body well-functioning.
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The Begin Program,
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maintains flexibility to keep muscles long and functioning properly, and helps with joint pain.
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