Stay healthy in your 40s, as they are the new 20s. Well, this might sound like a mere statement, but yes it is a fact. But it is also important to take care of your health as you cross the mark of 40. The most common health problems that arise post 40 are high cholesterol levels, pre-diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension. And the best way to avoid these is to be watchful of what you eat and when you eat. Abhilasha V, Senior Clinical Nutritionist – Cloudnine group of Hospitals explains what men in their 40s should eat, avoid and be careful about
Nutritional needs of men in their 40s
Men need well balanced nutrition in their 40s, especially one that focuses on strength, stamina, and an antioxidant rich diet to slow down ageing. The main areas of nutrition to focus on are heart health, reproductive health and also muscle health. Since the metabolism slows down every decade, extra care must be also taken to manage one’s weight and physique well. A diet should primarily focus on inclusion of good protein, healthy fats, whole grains, adequate fiber, plenty of antioxidant rich veggies and fruit and also good fluid intake. In this, special focus can be placed on ensuring well structured meal times and balance in all meals for better health.
In addition to good nutrition, it is important to have adequate sleep, hydration, and regular physical exercise, good stress management, cutting down on caffeine and to quit smoking and drinking (or at least cutting it down drastically) Weight management can prevent many health disorders too. Focussing on regular complete health checks are important to prevent lifestyle diseases. Periodic health checks can ward off many problems and help address issues from compounding.
What to eat?
Foods to consume should largely focus on good protein, whole grains, good fats, fiber and fluid.
Protein from plant sources, lean meat, eggs, omega-3 rich fatty fish, nuts, and low fat dairy can have a lot of benefits in this age group. Care must be taken to consume 1gram per kg body weight of protein daily and not to overdo it.
Foods like oats, broken wheat, millets, red rice can give sustained energy to function throughout the day. They are good for heart health due to their Vitamin B complex content and also ensure good bowel health. (Image: istock)
Fats in the form of avocados, olives, cold-pressed oils, nuts and seeds all can have a protective effect on men’s heart health. (Image: istock)
Fiber has an overall protective effect on BP, cholesterol and helps in weight management. Fiber in good amounts in a day keeps you full for longer thereby preventing cravings and binges. Fiber from fruits and vegetables in addition to adding roughage to diet can also add antioxidant benefits which can help in cancer-prevention. Foods for prostate health that are beneficial are broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, green tea, cooked tomatoes, walnuts, berries and healthy fish rich in omega-3 etc help maintain good prostate function. (Image: istock)
Hydration becomes very important to maintain muscle function and good kidney function. 2.5 to 3 litres is recommended. For those bored of plain water- infused water, herbal teas, cold-pressed juices and natural thirst quenchers like lime juice and tender coconut a day will do wonders for overall health. (Image: istock)
What not to eat?
Excessive caffeine can be avoided to prevent acidity and heartburn- all common in the 40s. Also, deep fried food, packaged foods can be limited due to their fattening and artery clogging properties. And foods with high salt can be cut down to prevent BP from rising and also to protect kidneys. Lastly, cutting back on alcohol can be quite beneficial to prevent liver disorders and to reduce inflammation in the body.