Turning 40 is an essential milestone in one’s life where with age comes experience and wisdom but also specific health problems as the body is more prone to illnesses, making it the right time to focus on your health before the issues worsen. Before turning 40, our bodies can tackle irregular diets and lousy hygiene but at 40, men’s body cannot handle such habits, leading to diseases.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Shikha Dwivedi, Dietitian and Nutritionist at OZiva, revealed, “Touching the age of 40 is an important milestone in a person’s life in terms of health these days. Before 40, your body can take on the assault of irregular food habits, poor sleep hygiene, substance abuse and more. However, post 40, the body is unable to cope up with the constant wear and tear. Especially, men are prone to lose muscle mass and gain weight as their bodies begin to produce testosterone at declining rates. Thus, the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes becomes a major concern along with BP and cholesterol.”
1. Cut down on salts because it can lead to high blood pressure. Add leafy greens, fresh veggies in your diet and avoid highly processed, deep fried foods and highly sugary drinks.
2. Clean, plant-based nutrition: By age 40, men usually have lost 1-5% of their muscle mass, caused by the gradual loss of muscle cell function. Prevent further muscle loss and load up with much-needed stamina, energy and improved metabolism, muscle repair by consuming foods rich in protein and multivitamins daily to help you satisfy your holistic nutritional needs. You can also opt for plant-based collagen builder supplements for anti-aging benefits.
3. Clean and holistic living: Adopting simple habits like eating clean, including plant-based supplements and getting enough sleep can help fulfill the holistic lifestyle approach in your 40s. Drinking 2-3 liters of water daily, 30 minutes of physical activities and managing stress levels are beneficial to your health and overall wellness as you age.
Vijayaraghavan Venugopal, CEO and Co-Founder of Fast&Up, echoed, “With men having greater chances of getting diseases such as blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer, and heart disease, making healthier diet and lifestyle choices at this point in life will not only help you fight the infections off but also improve the quality of life as you age.”
For those men who are about to turn 40, he suggested the following tips to manage your diet and nutrition –
1. Consume more plant-based products: Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. Fiber promotes healthy digestion, helps control blood sugar levels, and makes you feel full for longer. Vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based items are full of fiber and low in calories, making them the perfect pick to help you stay full and reduce your calorie intake. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, like including berries and leafy greens have additional benefits like helping you stay hydrated.
2. Reduce your salt intake: While sodium is a crucial part of our bodies, most of us consume an excess amount of it. Avoid pre-packaged and processed foods, the high sodium levels lead to fluid retention, blood pressure and heart failure risk. While it is not advised to cut out all sources of salt from the diet, one must regulate its consumption.
3. Are you eating healthy fats? Be mindful of what you consume. “Good” fats or unsaturated fats are essential for the body. Found in avocados, nuts, olive oil, flax seed, these fats promote overall well-being while also helping you fight against obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
4. Boost your protein intake: We all know that proteins are the building blocks of our body. As one loses muscle mass with age, the protein intake must increase. You can choose from legumes which include black beans, kidney beans, lentils and chickpeas, to nuts and seeds which include walnut, almond, chia seeds, flax seed, sunflower seed and pumpkin seed help build muscle mass. Remember to make sure that it does not contain any unhealthy fats!
5. Stay away from alcohol and added sugars: Offering only empty calories, you are better off without alcohol and drinks with added sugars. Instead, make healthier choices and avoid food items such as packed juices, canned foods, sauces, and others.
While you won’t find a one-size-fits-all diet plan for men over 40, the above can help you maintain a better and fitter lifestyle. In addition to this, getting plenty of sleep and exercise is essential to support overall wellness so, follow these tips regularly and build a better and healthier you!