This is certainly not a surprise, but your body changes as you age. As a result, the healthiest diet for males over 40 may look very different from what a 20-year-old eats.
A healthy diet is always beneficial, but as you become older, it becomes even more crucial for your health.
According to the National Library of Medicine, your diet is closely related to bone health, eye health, immune health, cardiovascular health, and brain health, as well as physical qualities such as agility and flexibility – all of which tend to deteriorate as you get older.
As you age, you lose muscle mass, your metabolism slows, your calorie needs fall, and your need for specific nutrients increase.
While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for a 40-year-old male or males of any age, paying attention to your calorie needs and eating the correct nutrients will help you stay as healthy as possible.
Why Do Nutritional Needs Alter?
Muscle mass naturally declines as you age. While this decrease begins in your 30s, it accelerates as you get older. By the age of 50, you’ve probably lost roughly 10% of your muscular mass.
According to a March 2017 research in Oncotarget, by the age of 65, that number climbs to 15%, and by the age of 80, it’s over 50%.
You lose bone in addition to muscle. According to a November 2015 article in the Journal of Cellular Physiology, this bone and muscle loss poses a significant threat to your independence as you age.
It also makes it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. When you lose muscle mass, your resting metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn at rest, decreases as well.
As a result, older men, particularly inactive older men, have fewer calorie requirements than younger men. As a result, if you do not adjust your diet as you age, you may notice that you begin to gain weight, particularly around your waist.
But there’s good news: your food and lifestyle habits play a significant effect in your health when you’re 40 and older. You’ve probably heard the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this is especially true when it comes to ageing.
Reduced Calorie Requirements
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, men require more calories since they have more muscles than women and are larger in size.
While there is no one-size-fits-all rule for how many calories men over 40 require, a moderately active guy should consume between 2,000 and 2,800 calories each day.
However, as you become older, your calorie requirements decrease because your metabolism slows. In the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services breaks down calorie needs for males by age. The graph is as follows:
- 2200 to 2800 calories per day for people aged 41 to 55.
- 2200 to 2600 calories per day for people aged 56 to 60.
- 2,000 to 2,600 calories per day for people aged 61 to 75.
- 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day for people aged 75 and up.
Men who are sedentary (receive little to no exercise) should keep to the lower end of the range, whereas men who are very active can plan their diet around the higher calorie numbers.
However, while the demand for calories decreases, the recommended amount for some nutrients increases.
That’s why it’s becoming increasingly crucial to optimise the items on your plate to ensure you’re getting the most nutritional bang for your dollars.
A 40-Year-Old Male’s Diet
As you age, your body gets less efficient in absorbing and utilising various types of nutrients.
While this is primarily a worry for men over the age of 70, the best targeted nutrition for a 40-year-old male considers the importance of establishing healthy habits and optimising nutrition as soon as feasible.
According to the Better Health Channel of the Victoria State Government in Australia, there are specific nutrients of special importance because most men’s diets are deficient in them. These nutrients are as follows:
- 600 international units of vitamin D per day It is found in fish, eggs, dairy, and mushrooms.
- 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are all good sources of vitamin B12.
- 420 mg of magnesium per day Magnesium is found in pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, and cashews.
- Potassium: 4700 mg per day Potassium is abundant in potatoes, bananas, and avocados.
- While a 40-year-old has the same overall nutritional needs as a younger man, a man’s need for vitamin B6 increases somewhat after the age of 50, from 1.4 milligrammes per day to 1.7 milligrammes per day.
According to a TuftsNow interview with Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD, Senior Scientist and Director of the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, vitamin B6 helps boost the immune system, which begins to malfunction as you age.
Vitamin B6 is found in foods such as wild salmon, potatoes, fowl, and avocado.
Weight Loss as You Get Older
If you want to lose weight, you should think about more than simply your food. Combining proper nutrition for a 40-year-old male with a regular exercise routine is the greatest way for a middle-aged man to lose weight.
Regular exercise directly burns excess calories and aids in weight management, but it also has other advantages.
Regular exercise, according to a paper published in Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine in April 2017, can help counteract age-related muscle loss by reducing losses in muscle mass and strength and enhancing your muscles’ ability to repair.
Exercise also improves insulin sensitivity, which can lower your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes and aid in the management of belly fat, particularly as you become older.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day if possible, and try to be as active as possible in your daily life. While any form of physical activity is beneficial, including strength training and resistance workouts in addition to cardio.