One of the best ways to lead a healthier lifestyle is by having a healthy diet. The definition of a healthy diet can change over your lifetime. As a man over 50, it's important to focus your diet toward minimizing the risk of common health issues like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes, heart disease, and prostate health. Making healthy lifestyle habits can have a huge impact on your health.
What Food Should You Add to Your Diet?
After you turn 50, your metabolism begins to slow. Because of this, it's important to fuel your body with good foods while limiting junk foods. Maintaining a healthy diet can help prevent weight gain and other health issues. You can easily add nutrient-rich foods to your diet to boost your health. If you’re looking to make healthier food choices, include these foods in your diet:
Potassium-rich foods. Potassium-rich foods help combat the negative effects of sodium, as well as lowering blood pressure. Potassium is a mineral that is an essential part of your heart-healthy diet. It's recommended that men consume about 3,400 milligrams of potassium every day. Eating the right amount of potassium helps your body process sodium and can help relax your blood vessels, lowering blood pressure to a healthy level.
It's easy to add potassium to your diet. Potassium-rich foods include:
- Raisins and dates
- Low-fat milk and yogurt
- Fish, like halibut or tuna
It's simple to add food like mushrooms to dishes you already love. You can include them in a salad or grill them to accompany vegetarian or meat dishes.
Cherries and berries. Anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce muscle and joint inflammation. They're also a great way to offset stress on the heart and lungs caused by physical activity and exercise. Cherries are a simple way to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Studies show that cherries possess qualities that fight inflammation and provide antioxidant benefits on a level similar to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. Tart cherries have been shown to help soothe osteoarthritis and gout, a common form of arthritis among men over 50.
Along with cherries, the anti-inflammatory properties of some berries have been shown to lower the risk of cancer. When combined with avoiding smoking and minimizing alcohol intake, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are an easy way to help minimize the risk of developing cancers like esophageal or colon cancer. It's easy to add cherries and berries to your diet — as a snack or addition to yogurt, salads, or smoothies.
Eggs. Once you pass the age of 50, it's natural for muscle mass to decrease over time. Protein-rich foods like eggs can help counteract the effects of diminishing muscle mass. Eggs are nutrient-dense and fuel your body with protein and antioxidants. Because of this, they promote lean muscle mass and help prevent obesity as a part of a balanced diet.
Eggs can be enjoyed in different ways for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Avocado. Avocados increase your consumption of heart-healthy fats and are rich in dietary fiber. Eating healthy fats like avocados can help lower your risk for obesity and heart disease. Studies show that people who consume avocados regularly as a part of a balanced diet are more likely to have a lower body weight, lower body mass index, and a smaller waist. You can enjoy avocados in guacamole, breakfast dishes, salads, sandwiches, and more.
Beans and legumes. Beans and legumes can be effective when it comes to preventing diabetes and heart disease. Legumes — such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils — have been shown to have a low glycemic index, meaning they have minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Their low glycemic impact makes beans and legumes a great addition to your diet. You can easily incorporate them into your daily meals by adding them to your salads, burritos, or bowls.
Benefits of a Healthy Diet for Men Over 50
Building healthy diet habits can help men over 50 reduce their risk for a variety of health issues. To lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer and increase your overall well-being, focus on eating a diet that includes lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish, eggs, and nuts. In addition, add regular exercise to your life. It improves muscle strength, balance, and flexibility.
Healthy diet and exercise are most effective when accompanied by:
- Healthy sleeping habits
- No smoking
- Minimal alcohol consumption
- Regular health screenings and exams
- Up-to-date vaccinations
Always talk to your doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist before adding or taking away foods from your regular diet.