You have heard the popular saying that a fool at 40 is a fool for forever. That tells you that Age-40 is very important. Turning 40 is a milestone in any person’s life and with it, comes an adjustment that needs to be made to improve the health status of the individual. For instance, the person needs to make dietary changes because as a person advances in age, the body’s metabolism begins to slow down.
One person who has recognized the need to make lifestyle modifications at age-40 is former international football star, Kanu Nwankwo, who organised a soccer match for men over 40 in 2016 as a way of helping them improve their health.
Foods to avoid when over 40 include those that can increase your risk for disease or worsen conditions you already have. I
If you are over 40, you may have noticed that you just can’t eat or drink like you did when you were younger. As you age, it is even more important to eat well, maintain a healthy weight, and get regular exercise, not just to feel better but to prevent disease as well. The risk of having heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, prostate problems like enlarged prostate (BPH), gout, arthritis, and diabetes, increases as a person gets older.
At 40, testosterone levels start to decline, and the wrong foods can send your hormones out of balance. Limiting the foods to avoid over 40 is going to help you maximize your health by keeping your blood sugar in check, reducing inflammation, and keeping your cardiovascular system running smoothly.
If you already have conditions like arthritis, gout, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, or prostate cancer then it is especially important to know what foods to avoid to prevent making symptoms, or the diseases and conditions themselves, worse.
You might have noticed it gets harder to lose or maintain your weight as you age. Obesity puts men at higher risk of heart problems, cancers such as prostate cancer and bladder cancer, BPH, type-2 diabetes, and hormonal problems.
Carbonated drinks are filled with caffeine, fructose, and refined sugar. Diet version of these soft drink, which contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame are even worse. The caffeine can trigger gout, and the sugars can raise insulin levels so high that drinking a soft drink a day increases your chance of a having a heart attack by 20 per cent. Avoid these empty calories by drinking water or a tea that has health benefits for men such as green tea.
Consumption of French fries has become very popular among Nigerians in the urban settings like Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt. Fried foods like French fries, chips and fried meat pump the arteries with oils that have been made even more unhealthy by heating them to high temperatures. Frying takes healthy foods (like vegetables, potatoes, fish, or chicken) and transforms them into ones to avoid. In fact, eating breaded and fried chicken is worse than eating a burger. Also be leery of prepackaged food you have to bake. They are often breaded and fried with oil to keep them crispy. Chips and French fries contain acrylamide. The calories in fried foods like French fries can cause weight gain, which can lead to other diseases, problems with your joints, and hormone imbalance, while the unhealthy heated oils found in these foods can lead to heart disease. It is healthier to boil, steam, roast, or bake your foods.
Diets high in red meat are linked with high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, plus a greater risk of diabetes. Other meats cooked well done or at high temperatures become carcinogenic and put you men at higher risk for prostate cancer. So if you are someone that has a thing for suya, please repent and switch to white proteins from fish and chicken.
Fruit juice seems healthy, but it is not a good choice for aging men. The spike in sugar is especially bad for men with diabetes and gout, plus the beneficial fiber is removed from the fruit. Stick to whole fruits and vegetables, or use whole fruits and vegetables to blend a smoothie if you prefer to drink your produce. That way you can keep the fiber and even hide vegetables you might not be inclined to eat.
White bread products
White bread and other white flour foods such as crackers, rolls, and pasta, as well as low-fiber cereals produce a state of inflammation in the body. This can worsen arthritis and cause spikes in blood sugar. Some experts are concerned about an additive to bread called potassium bromate, which is known to be toxic in human cells and cause cancer in animals. Instead opt for whole-grain and high-fiber options. Avoid processed flour products like noodles, which come with spices packed MSG (monosodium glutamate) loads the body with sodium and some unhealthy fats, doing damage to the heart and filling the body with cholesterol.
Pancakes seem harmless enough, but eating three large pieces is just like eating seven slices of white bread. Add on the syrup, and the sugar can send your blood sugar and insulin levels on a ride. Opt for higher-fiber foods and a protein source at breakfast.
Whole milk contains saturated fats, which worsen insulin resistance. Men who are concerned about prostate cancer and heart health should watch their calcium intake. If you do consume some dairy products, look for fat-free or 1 per cent organic milk. Non-organic milk that has been treated with growth hormones contains hormones that may affect your body’s own hormone levels and may contain antibiotics, which can contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Bacon and sausage
Cured meats such as bacon and sausage are foods to avoid when over 40 because their saturated fat increases inflammation, making them bad choices for arthritic men, plus they contribute to heart disease and higher blood pressure. It is important to avoid nitrates in foods such as bacon and hotdogs because they become nitrosamines, which are cancer-causing chemicals, in the body. Instead try to cook nitrate-free, organic meats.
Doughnuts are definitely foods to avoid when over 40 because they are basically sugar, white flour, and unhealthy trans-fat, which is linked to heart disease. Like French fries, doughnuts may contain acrylamide, which is considered a carcinogen. Doughnuts are possibly the worst way to start your day.
A glass of wine, especially red wine, may actually benefit your health, but drinking excessively is bad for aging men. Too much alcohol can damage you the liver, accelerate aging, and even lead to osteoporosis. Excess and regular drinking of alcohol dilates blood vessels in the skin, widening blood vessels until they lose tone. This can lead to deeper facial lines and wrinkles.
► With additional materials from Mens Health.com and Webmd.com