Anyone over 40 knows he just can’t eat or drink like he did when he was younger. The aging body does not recover well from binges or unhealthy eating. As men age, it gets harder to lose weight or to simply maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity puts men at higher risk for things like heart problems, cancers (including prostate cancer and bladder cancer), enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH), type-2 diabetes and hormonal imbalances.
As men age, it is important to eat well, maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise — not just to feel better, but also to prevent disease.
When men grow older, their chances for heart disease, high cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, cancer, gout, arthritis and prostate problems like BPH inevitably climb. Testosterone levels slowly start to decline, and eating the wrong foods and/or 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 the arteries. 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 suffer from 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 a problem like arthritis, gout, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes or prostate cancer, then it is especially important for you to avoid the foods that can worsen your symptoms. Knowing what not to eat can help you avoid unhealthy 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.
Fried foods like French fries and chips, as well as breaded and fried meat, pump your arteries with oils that have been made less healthy by heating them to high temperatures. Frying makes healthy food (such as vegetables, fish, chicken or potatoes) unhealthy. Did you know that eating a fried chicken sandwich is even worse than eating a hamburger? Chips and French fries contain a chemical called acrylamide. There have been several studies linking acrylamide to cancer. 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.
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 for health. The caffeine in soda can trigger gout. 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. Instead of consuming empty calories in soda, drink water or a tea like green tea, which has health benefits for men.
Fruit juice seems healthier than soda, but it is also a bad choice for aging men. Fruit juice causes a spike in blood sugar that is especially bad for anyone 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. If you don’t like certain types of produce (or if you simply enjoy drinking them), blend fresh or frozen whole fruits and vegetables to make a smoothie. If you drink a smoothie in the morning, then you start your day getting nutrition along with fiber. And smoothies allow you to hide certain foods you might not consume otherwise because you don’t enjoy eating them.
Well-Done Red Meat
Diets high in red meat have been linked with high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. A study has shown that red meat increases diabetes risk. The way you cook your meat also can make it even less healthy. Cooking meats at high temperatures makes them carcinogenic. There is a link between well-done grilled meat and prostate cancer.
Bacon And Sausage
Avoid cured meats like bacon and sausage, especially if you have a condition 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 hot dogs, because the nitrates found in these foods become nitrosamines (cancer-causing chemicals) in the body. When shopping, look for nitrate-free, organic meats.
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 blood sugar. Potassium bromate, a bread additive in the United States, 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.
Pancakes may not seem like they are that bad for you, but eating three large flapjacks is equivalent to eating seven slices of white bread. Pile syrup on top, and the sugar can take your blood sugar and insulin levels for a roller-coaster ride. A better choice for breakfast is to eat something higher in fiber and to include a source of protein.
Whole milk and nonorganic milk are bad for aging men for several reasons. Whole milk contains saturated fats, which can worsen insulin resistance. If you are concerned about prostate cancer and your heart health, you should limit your calcium intake from dairy. 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 disrupt your body’s own hormone levels.
Doughnuts may be the worst breakfast food ever devised. Doughnuts are basically sugar, white flour and unhealthy trans fat, which is linked to heart disease. The oil used to fry doughnuts in is unhealthy. Like French fries and some other foods cooked at high temperatures, doughnuts may contain acrylamide, a substance that is considered a carcinogen.
There are some health benefits associated with having a glass of wine, especially red wine; but excessive drinking harms 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 Prostate Diet. Following these eating plans help you avoid the unhealthy foods we’ve discussed and provide you with healthier choices that can help support your body’s changes while helping you manage or prevent disease.
Lifestyle and diet are powerful tools for fighting disease. In fact, there are new cholesterol guidelines that are supposed to change the way doctors prescribe statins and have put more 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 to eat a healthy diet. 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 feel better, live longer and stay healthier as you age.