This is a healthy week here on Men Files, so after this week’s article about fitness we are sharing you some tips about nutrition. We’ve gathered information from Men’s Health and here are 6 tips for a better healthy life based on your nutrition, based on the problems you can have and the fix we suggest.
Nutrition over 30’s
The metabolic rate that allowed you to burn through super-size burritos in your 20s is slowing—dropping by 1 percent every 4 years. And even if the number on your scale isn’t rising, it’s likely you’re getting fatter. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists found that men who managed to maintain their weight for 40 years still gained 3 pounds of fat each decade—while losing 3 pounds of muscle.
The likely reason: After you pass 30, your testosterone levels decrease by up to 1 percent a year. This means it becomes harder for you to build—or even maintain—metabolism-boosting muscle. (See the connection?) Another side effect: By 40, more than half of men develop some degree of erectile dysfunction.
But sagging testosterone levels aren’t your only health hazard. Starting at age 30, your systolic blood pressure rises 4 points per decade, and joint degeneration begins to occur.
Here’s how to turn back your biological clock—and keep midlife years in front of you.
Nutrition Problem 1 – Corroding Joints
Even though arthritis doesn’t usually set in until your 50s, the damage that causes it is happening now.
The fix: Eat three 6-ounce servings of cold-water fish weekly. Specifically, have salmon, mackerel, trout, halibut, or white tuna—each packs more than 1,000 mg of fish oil. A U.K. study found that regularly consuming this amount of fish oil appeared to halt cartilage-eating enzymes in 86 percent of people who are facing joint-replacement surgery. Fish oil slows down cartilage degeneration and reduces factors that cause inflammation, says lead researcher Bruce Caterson, Ph.D.
Nutrition Problem 2 – Rising Blood Pressure
Some men are always close to their boiling points. And new research from the Netherlands may explain why. In their analysis, the scientists used 3,500 mg daily as the cutoff for defining a low potassium intake. The average intake for a man in his 30s? Only 3,100 mg.
The fix: Add ½ cup of beans, a banana, or a handful of raisins to your daily diet. Each will increase your potassium intake by about 400 mg a day, boosting you above that 3,500 mg benchmark.
Nutrition Problem 3 – Waning Sex Drive
Don’t wither away down under.
The fix: Munch on two handfuls of walnuts, peanuts, or almonds every day. Research shows that men with diets high in mono-unsaturated fat—the kind found in nuts—have higher testosterone levels than those who don’t eat enough of the healthy fat. Nuts are also the best food source of arginine, an amino acid that improves bloodflow throughout your body—including below the belt.
Nutrition Problem 4 – Your Metabolism is Slowing
By snacking on the right foods—those that are low in sugar but rich in protein—you’ll keep your metabolic furnace stoked, and be less likely to binge between meals.
The fix: Have one slice of hard or semihard cheese—for instance, Cheddar, Swiss, or provolone—two or three times a day. Cheese has 7 grams of protein per slice and contains no sugar. That means it doesn’t raise blood-sugar levels, so your body stays in fat-burning mode. Want an alternative? Opt for a cup of low-fat plain yogurt or a stick of beef jerky, or multitask with a handful of almonds. (See “Waning Sex Drive,” to the left.)
Nutrition Problem 5 – You Can’t Lift as Much Weight
As testosterone levels start to drop, it takes longer for your muscles to return to full strength after each workout.
The fix: Eat broccoli and bell peppers. Together, they’re packed with vitamins C and E, two nutrients that fight free radicals—rogue molecules that slow the repair of exercise-induced muscle damage, impeding recovery. Try this 15-minute meal from resident “Muscle Chow” columnist Gregg Avedon. It’s infused with the most effective ingredients for speeding muscle recovery after a hard workout—vitamins C and E, high-quality protein, and slow-digesting carbohydrates.
In a deep saucepan, sauté 1 tablespoon of chopped onion, ¼ of a red bell pepper (cut into long, thin strips), and a pinch of black pepper on medium heat for 2 minutes. Next, add ½ pound of turkey-breast strips and 1 teaspoon of sage. Brown the turkey for 2 minutes and then add 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of broccoli florets. Meanwhile, bring to a boil for 1 minute, then stir in ½ cup of plain, uncooked couscous. Finally, cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Problem 6 – Every Lunch is a Business Lunch
Dining out means restaurant megaportions—and, most likely, a mega-gut.
The fix: Trade that grilled-chicken sandwich for a grilled-chicken salad. Recently, U.K. researchers found that men who ate a low-glycemic lunch— which means one without bread, rice, or pasta—burned more fat for 3 hours after eating than those who ate a high-glycemic meal, even though both groups consumed the same number of calories. More smart choices: chicken stir-fry, fajitas sans the tortillas, or even a 6- to 8-ounce steak with a side salad or steamed vegetables.