Every June men across the country are invited to celebrate Men’s Health Month by investing in their health. While good nutrition is vital for a vibrant and healthy life, men’s nutritional needs are not the same at each stage of life. With age, men’s bodies and lifestyles change, reminding us that nutrition is not “one size fits all.”
At each stage of life, men will notice their bodies changing in subtle ways, with different responses to diet and physical activity, as well as different health concerns. Lifestyle choices such as eating habits, physical activity, and stress levels also change.
DNA nutrition testing can take nutrition guides one step further—allowing a personalized nutrition plan to be developed that accounts for an individual’s unique nutrient metabolism and disease risk, no matter what stage in life they may be in.
The 20s: Establishing Healthy Eating Habits and Building Reserves
Men in their 20s should focus on developing healthy eating habits for the long run. Men in this decade may recover quickly from indulging in alcohol or junk food, but this won’t last forever. Goals should include reducing soda and unhealthy snacks while learning basic cooking skills and how to prepare healthy meals.
This is the time of peak athletic performance and a great opportunity to build up muscle and bone, with attention to protein and calcium intake.
The 30s: Weight Management and Heart-Healthy Eating
Weight management becomes more important for men in their 30s due to a slight decrease in metabolism, along with less physical activity and stress from career and family demands. Men in their 30s will also want to adopt a more heart-healthy diet that includes fish and whole grains.
The omega-3s in fish improve blood triglycerides, while whole grains contain fiber, zinc, and B vitamins for healthy cholesterol levels.
The 40s: Boosting Fruits & Veggies and Maintaining Muscle
Men in their 40s can help control their risks for chronic diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) through diet, especially by boosting intakes of colorful, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Men in their 40s will experience a drop in testosterone that makes it harder to build muscle and can reduce energy levels.
Increasing exercise and taking vitamin D supplements are useful for boosting testosterone levels, and magnesium supplements can improve strength.
The 50s: Vitamin & Mineral Intake and Managing Blood Pressure
Sufficient vitamin and mineral intake is key for men in their 50s, especially calcium and magnesium to reduce bone loss and zinc for prostate health. Men in their 50s should also be managing their blood pressure since high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.
Potassium-rich foods can help lower blood pressure, and DNA nutrition testing can determine if a person’s blood pressure may be sensitive to salt intake.
The 60s and Beyond: Staying Strong and Nourished
Men in their 60s continue to face the loss of muscle and bone strength. Protein plus resistance exercise can help reduce muscle loss, while calcium and vitamin D support bone strength and reduce the risk of fractures.
Expect appetite to start decreasing since aging causes a reduction in hunger hormones like ghrelin and an increase in fullness hormones like leptin. Smaller appetites make nutrition-packed meals even more important to prevent deficiencies.
Nutrition for Every Stage
Knowing these age-related nutrition guidelines is a great start to maintaining nutritional health throughout life. DNA testing can fine-tune recommendations to account for an individual’s specific health risks and nutrient needs, resulting in a personalized nutrition plan with custom diet and supplementation recommendations.
Personalized nutrition is the key to helping men can feel their best at every age!