10 worst foods for men over 40

Anyone over 40 knows that they just can’t eat or drink like they did when they were younger. The aging body does not recover as well from binges or unhealthy eating. As men age it gets harder to lose weight, maintain muscle or simply maintain a healthy weight. Obesity puts men at higher risk for heart problems, cancers (such as prostate cancer and bladder cancer), enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH), type-2 diabetes, and hormonal imbalances that affects your testosterone levels and energy.

As men get older, their risk for heart disease, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, cancer, gout, arthritis, and prostate problems like BPH goes up. Testosterone levels slowly starts to decline, and eating the wrong foods and being obese can contribute to sending hormones out of balance. Limiting certain foods is a really good move to help men stay healthy by keeping blood sugar under control, reducing inflammation, and avoiding clogging up the arteries system. Avoiding certain foods helps prevent disease. It is a lot easier to prevent disease than to try to treat and manage existing diseases.

If you already have diseases and other health problems you should not just give up. Diet can help you manage your diseases and even reverse some of their effects. If you have arthritis, gout, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes or prostate cancer then it is especially important for you to avoid to certain foods that can worsen your symptoms. Knowing what not to eat can help you avoid unhealthful foods and replace them and with healthier alternatives, like the best foods for men over 40. Read on to learn what foods aging men should avoid.

1. Fried foods

Fried foods like French fries, chips, and breaded and fried meat pumps your arteries with oils that have been made less healthy by heating them to high temperatures. Frying makes otherwise healthful food (such as vegetables, fish, chicken or potatoes) unhealthy. Chips and French fries contain acrylamide which is a known carcinogen. The high caloric content in fried foods can cause you to gain weight, which leads to diseases, problems with your joints and hormone problems. It is healthier to boil, steam, roast or bake your foods than to fry them.

2. Soda                                                         

Soda is one of the worst foods for men because it is filled with caffeine, fructose and refined sugar. The artificial sweeteners in diet soda are even worse. The caffeine in soda can trigger gout, and the sugars (which are bad for your teeth) can cause insulin levels to go so high that drinking one soda per day can increase your chance of a having a heart attack by 20 percent. Avoid consuming empty calories in soda by drinking water or a tea like green tea, which has many health benefits for men.

3. Fruit juice

Fruit juice seems healthier than soda, but it too is a bad choice for aging men. Fruit juice is usually loaded with sugar that causes a spike in blood sugar levels that is especially bad for men with diabetes and gout. Plus juicing removes the beneficial fiber from the fruit. It is better to eat whole fruits and vegetables than to drink their juice.

4. Well-done red meat

Diets that are high in red meat have been linked with high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.  Studies have also shown that red meat increases diabetes risk.  The way you cook you meat also can make it even less healthy. Cooking meats at high temperatures makes them carcinogenic. There are strong links between well-done grilled meat and prostate cancer.

5. Bacon and sausage

Avoid cured meats like bacon and sausage, especially if you have conditions like arthritis. These foods are high in saturated fat, which increases inflammation in the body. Bacon and sausage contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. You should avoid bacon and hotdogs because the nitrates found in these foods become nitrosamines—cancer-causing chemicals—in the body. When shopping, look for nitrate-free, organic meats.

6. White bread products

White bread products include crackers, rolls, bagels, pasta and low-fiber cereals. Milled white flour produces a state of inflammation in the body, which can worsen arthritis and cause spikes in bloodsugar. There is an additive to bread called potassium bromatethat is banned in other countries. Potassium bromate is known to be toxic in human cells and cause cancer in animals. Instead of white bread, choose whole-grain and high-fiber products.

7. Pancakes

Pancakes don’t seem like they are that bad for you, but eating three large flapjacks is equivalent to eating seven slices of white bread. All the syrup on top and the sugar can take your blood sugar and insulin levels for a ride. A better choice for breakfast is to eat something higher in fiber and to include a source of protein.

8. Nonorganic dairy

Whole milk and nonorganic milk is bad for aging men for several reasons. Whole milk contains saturated fats, which can affect and worsen insulin resistance. If you are concerned about prostate cancer and your heart health you should limit your calcium intake from dairy anyway. If you do regularly consume some dairy products, buy fat-free or 1 percent organic milk. Organic milk is free from synthetic hormones. Many nonorganic milk products have been treated with hormones that may affect your body’s own hormone levels and can reduce testosterone.

9. Doughnuts

Doughnuts may be the worst breakfast food ever. Doughnuts are basically sugar, white flour and unhealthy trans-fat, which is linked to heart disease. The oils the doughnuts are fried in are unhealthy, and like French fries and some other foods cooked at high temperatures, doughnuts usually contain acrylamide, which is considered a carcinogen.

10. Excessive drinking

There are some health benefits associated with having a glass of wine, especially red wine, but excessive drinking is bad for your health. Drinking too much alcohol can accelerate aging, damage your liver, and even lead to osteoporosis. Excess and regular alcohol consumption can affect your skin by dilating blood vessels, causing them to widen until they lose tone. This can cause deeper facial lines and wrinkles.

Aging better through eating better

It is important for men over 40 to follow a heart-healthy and prostate-friendly diet such as the Mediterranean diet, which is also part of a health program called the The Prostate Diet. Following these eating plans help you avoid the above foods and provide you with healthier choices that can help support your body’s changes and help you manage or prevent disease.

Lifestyle and diet are powerful tools for fighting disease. In fact there are new cholesterol guidelines that have changed the way they prescribe statins and have put a focus on making lifestyle changes in exercise and diet to reduce risk factors for chronic disease, stroke, and heart attack.

In general it is best to eat high-fiber, whole foods that are high in antioxidants. Fill your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Eat whole grains instead of white flour products, and trade servings of meat for wild-caught fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Try to replace some of your servings of meat with plant-based proteins such as nuts, beans, and lentils. What may surprise you is that you don’t have to give up fat. In fact you should eat healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. Doing your best to avoid the worst foods for men over 40 is going to help you avoid feel better, live longer, and keep you healthier as you age.

Dr. Geo Espinosa

By Dr. Geo Espinosa

Dr. Geo Espinosa is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist and certified functional medicine practitioner recognized as an authority in holistic urology and men’s health. He is Clinical Assistant Professor and holistic clinician in Urology at New York University Langone Medical Center. As an avid researcher and writer, Dr. Geo has authored numerous scientific papers and books including co-editing the Integrative Sexual Health book, and author of the best selling prostate cancer book: Thrive, Don't Only Survive.