40 Foods to Avoid for Men Over 40

As you get older, there are days you realize that you aren’t as fit, strong or ripped as you used to be. Some days, you realize… Simi - November 21, 2018

As you get older, there are days you realize that you aren’t as fit, strong or ripped as you used to be. Some days, you realize that you can’t do the things that you used to. However, the thing that blindsides you is your diet. Your metabolism slows down, and even the exercise that you used to do to keep in shape seems useless. The problem isn’t necessarily the food you eat, or shouldn’t eat. In many cases, the problem is habitual.

All your life you are used to a certain diet, and it never seemed to affect you. It wasn’t that the food wasn’t doing anything to your body, but rather your body recovered quicker than you could experience the adverse effects of the food. Now, all of a sudden, you have to change a lifetime’s worth of bad eating habits and try to slow the sands of time. That’s easier said than done. Habits are hard to break, especially when you don’t see anything morally wrong with them. However, if you want to get in the habit sooner rather than later, here are 40 foods that you need to avoid when you are over 40.

40. Margarine

Margarine has come under heavy fire of late and with good reason. It looks like butter, in some cases even tastes like butter, but it is nothing like butter. Margarine is an artificial lubricant with artery-clogging saturated fats and loads of processed oils. It is no friend to your cholesterol. Many margarine brands use propylene glycol, which is an artificial compound. This compound has been found to increase bad cholesterol, and it is also associated with weight gain.

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Those morning pancakes with syrup and margarine can be no more, lest you increase your chances of a heart attack or start growing sideways. It might cost a bit more, but you could substitute the margarine with butter or heavy oils like coconut or extra virgin olive. Unlike margarine, these fats and oils are good for your health.

39. Artificial sweeteners

Most of us have a sweet tooth, and without knowing it, we have incorporated sugar into most of our foods. However, recent times have labeled sugar as a modern-day poison, and as such, people have started to move over to artificial sweeteners. The problem is that these sweeteners are even worse for you than ordinary sugar. Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been known to boost sugar cravings.

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Sure, they don’t add any unwanted calories to your diet, but the food that they go with is the problem. Furthermore, studies have also shown that they increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes and other health issues. If you want to indulge in the sweet stuff, there are natural options. Maple syrup and honey are among the best choices. They contain many nutrients that are good for your body and are super tasty.

38. Soda

It goes without saying that soda is bad for you: It doesn’t matter how old you are. But when you start moving past your 40s, your body stops processing the poisons efficiently. Apart from the sugar content of fizzy drinks, which is already way more than the recommended daily allowance. Colas have other toxic chemicals as well. The main culprit, 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), is the caramel colorant found in most colas. Recent studies have shown it is connected with a higher risk of developing cancer.

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When you near your 40s, you might not necessarily want to have kids any longer, but if it’s still a possibility, you should lay off the fizz. A 2018 study in the Journal of Epidemiology showed that men or women who drink fizzy drinks have a much lower fertility rate than those who abstain.

37. Food coloring

When you reach 40, you have probably seen how kids react to certain food colorants: They get hyper and drive you crazy. When you are older, you don’t get hyper, but your body is still taking shots on the inside. Although these colorants are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the dyes may contain cancer-causing substances.

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Food colorants are such a huge part of diets because color sells. Something with vibrant colors will sell much better than the dull original. We are all guilty of buying food that looks good, regardless of what it could do to our bodies. There are, however, healthy alternatives. Foods like beet juice and cold-pressed green juices are packed with vitamins and will provide you with all the color that your eyes desire. Paprika and turmeric are spices that don’t have overpowering flavors, but they add plenty of color to your dishes.

36. Sugary cocktails

Here is a doubleheader for the aging male. A few have to fill in the blanks from some of their college days due to some serious partying. Happy hour was an excuse to see how much you could drink in that hour. Sure, the next day you felt like a train wreck, but before the sun could set on another day, your body had recovered and you were ready for more.

Cutting back on alcohol can increase sperm production. Freepik

Sugar and alcohol are things you should stay away from, but the combination of the two is poison when you get older. Besides, having one or three too many when you are at college is OK, but if you’re still bingeing at happy hour when you’re 40, it’s just awkward. A cocktail now and then is not going to kill you, as long as you have your drinks in moderation.

35. Fruit juice

Here is a drink that is touted as being healthy. However, this could not be any further from the truth. Just because it says “100% juice” on the bottle does not make it a healthy drink. But what is the difference between having fruit juice and eating fruit? If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, why can’t a glass of apple juice a day do the same thing?

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The answer lies in eating. When you eat fruit, you take in the juice as well as the fiber. This means your body will digest it at a much more controlled rate and you won’t get a sugar rush. When you drink pure fruit juice, you ingest more fruit than you would if you had eaten the fruit. This means you ingest much more sugar and none of the fiber. The result is a spike in energy, and if you don’t use it, it turns into fat.

34. Muffins and cupcakes

We all love a sweet treat now and then. When you are young, your body can still fight off the negative effects, but once you hit your 40s, now and then has to change to almost never if you want to keep your physique. Store-bought muffins and cupcakes are some of the worst treats you can get.

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In most cases, a single cupcake could contain more than your daily allowance of sugar and fat. Apart from the extra pounds, you will gradually gain, the sugar can speed up your aging process. Sugar and salt have the same effect on your body’s cells. It sucks them dry, and they become hard. When your skin cells lose their moisture and elasticity, you develop wrinkles. If you have too much sugar in your diet, these wrinkles will come along quicker than they should.

33. Deli meats

I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t enjoy a good sub now and then. To ease the conscience, whole wheat or other healthy bread is used. From there on the ingredients seem pretty healthy, especially if you stuff your sub with leafy greens and other veggies. The problem, however, lies in the meat. Whenever you see processed meat, the warning lights need to go off because you know that the meat is packed with a range of unnatural preservatives.

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Most deli meats have high concentrations of sodium, nitrate preserves, modified cornstarch and carrageenan, all of which is responsible for boosting belly fat and causing some other serious health problems. If you can’t curb the craving, you should opt for the least-destructive meats. The roasted chicken and turkey options are generally better for you than hams and kinds of bacon. Be sure to check the nutritional info if you don’t know what to choose.

32. Charred meats

There are very few things that come close to firing up the BBQ on a hot summer’s weekend and putting some meat on the grill. The only problem is the BBQ and the open flames. It’s ironic how bad something can be for your health even though it smells and tastes so good. Your skinless chicken breast which is the doctor’s meat of choice becomes a carcinogenic nightmare when you decide to cook it on an open flame.

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When you cook your meat over an open flame or very high temperatures, the proteins can develop heterocyclic amines (HCAs) as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In short, these chemicals can change the DNA of a person and in the process, increases the risk of cancer development. If you have to use the BBQ, close the lid and use it as an oven. You’ll get the same smoky taste, minus all the bad stuff.

31. Nacho Cheese

It’s game day, and you want to indulge in some crunchy nachos. Not when you are over 40, you don’t. Nachos in itself are not that bad for you; there are actually some healthy nachos out there nowadays. The problem comes with the sauce. Nacho sauces are saturated with artificial colorants, preservatives and lab-made flavorings. It’s not the cheese in the sauce that gives it a fantastic color.

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However, you don’t have to stay away from your favorite game-day snack completely. You can whip up your homemade sauces with minimal effort and can be healthy as well. How? Use real cheese when you make your dip and add some herbs for extra flavor. If you have a green thumb, you could always add fresh herbs from your garden. There is no limit to what you can make if you put your mind to it. It’s not as instant as the store-bought stuff, but it is much healthier.

30. Chinese takeout

There are nights when you don’t want to cook and having something delivered to your door seems like the only option. When the takeout craving hits, try to stay away from the Chinese. In general, the dishes are loaded with sodium and sugar. Foods like General Tso’s and chicken lo mein are only some of the nasties you should avoid.

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Believe it or not, sodium and sugar are the least of your problems. Make no mistake, Chinese is amazing, but the flavor is achieved with monosodium glutamate (MSG). This flavor-enhancing substance has been linked to many side effects. You are not suffering from a premature hangover. A headache, nausea and weakness you feel could very well be the MSG you ingested. It might not be Chinese takeout, but you can make similar dishes at home with the same ingredients, minus all the MSG and sugar.

29. Turkey bacon

Turkey bacon is much like any other deli meat. The added preservatives and other substances that add to the mix make it poison to your body. If you want to avert that impending heart attack, you have to lay off the bacon. Or maybe you want to try a healthier version to try and stay in shape, so you opt for turkey bacon. After all, it has roughly 13 fewer calories than the original per slice. Unfortunately, you are only fooling yourself.

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Turkey bacon has more saturated fats and sodium than normal bacon, which means that you will just be putting that impending heart attack on a fast track. Your best alternative is to grill that turkey at home. Once everyone has had their fill, slice the leftovers into thin strips and pan fry them in olive oil. It makes for tasty sandwich meat or light snack.

28. White pasta and white bread

This is probably one of the hardest staples to cut from your diet. White pasta and white bread are versatile, and if you aren’t mindful of what you eat, you could ingest way more than you should. White bread and pasta are made from refined grains, which means that they have been stripped of all their fiber and nutrients and become high-glycemic. This says that your blood pressure spikes and falls quickly.

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When you overeat pasta and bread, you can develop diabetes and also become obese because your body can’t process the carbs quickly enough. If you can’t let go of the pasta and bread, opt for the fiber-rich and unrefined alternative. Brown, whole wheat and bean-based pastas will provide you with the needed fiber to keep you regular. The same goes for bread. Whole-wheat, sprouted bread is among the healthiest options available.

27. Fat-free dressing

Many times when people are overweight and want to do something about their weight, the first thing they do is search for low-fat or fat-free replacements. Fat-free dressing is among the biggest snares people get caught in. Sure, it doesn’t have fat, but it is loaded with sugar, salt and other additives. In most cases, they have more harmful ingredients than their full-fat counterparts.

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You can make your dressing with healthy ingredients at home; all you need is a food processor. If you don’t have one, you can make a universal dressing with olive oil, vinegar, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and some honey. Add everything together to taste, shake it up and voila.

26. Fat-free dairy products

During the 90s, there was a significant push among the health conscious of promoting fat-free products. The problem with the fat-free is that they are generally tasteless and people end up eating more due to satisfy their cravings. To make the foods more flavorsome, companies add sugar and salt, which is counter-productive. Recent studies have shown that sugar is linked to more diseases than fat.

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Dairy is an integral part of your diet, so you can’t cut it out completely. However, some full-fat products help the weight-loss battle. Grass-fed butter is packed with vitamins and other nutrients, and it helps with slowing the sugar absorption process. Go for the full-cream milk. It has more calories, but it is also more filling. There is also no evidence to suggest that it increases your risk of heart disease or diabetes.

25. Flavored yogurt

There is no denying that flavored yogurt is much more satisfying than Greek yogurt. However, like most other flavored foods, it is packed with extra sugar and other flavorings that your body is not supposed to try and digest. Besides, Greek yogurt is packed with satiated proteins and is low in sugar.

If the taste is something that deters you from buying the healthy option, you can add some flavor of your own. Top it up with some fiber-rich fruit and some nuts. If it isn’t quite sweet enough, you can add some honey as well. Not only are you enhancing the flavor, but you are making your yogurt healthier. The fruits add essential vitamins, and the nuts are packed with omega-3 oils. The honey is also packed with antioxidants with are known to alleviate allergies. The sugar in honey, together with that of the fruit will give you the energy boost you need to get you going in the morning.

24. Canned fruit

Here is another sweet treat that you need to say goodbye to. It might say fruit on the can, but there is almost nothing healthy about the contents. The fruit is drenched and preserved in syrup, artificial flavoring and a host of other chemicals that are made to enlarge your belly.

Food companies have tried to ease the conscience of the ever-growing health concerned masses by developing unsweetened varieties. The sugar content might be at an acceptable level, but the fruit still lacks fiber and other nutrients. You’re filling your stomach with nutritious food that has no dietary value. The vitamins that you would typically find in fresh fruit also get primarily destroyed during the canning process. Instead, get in the habit of using fresh fruit in your desserts and know what healthy sweeteners you can use.

23. Pancake syrup

It goes without saying that you should leave the pancake syrup well enough alone. You are already committing a dietary sin by eating pancakes. When you add syrup to the mix, you’re only making things worse. If you use maple-flavored syrup, you are just fooling your taste buds.

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Flavored syrups are made from high fructose corn syrup. Fructose in fruit is not a problem, but as soon as it is concentrated, bad things happen. It has been linked to metabolic syndrome and increased belly fat, for starters. As you grow older, you will get to realize that nothing comes close to natural products. Man has not yet found ways to make artificial foods as healthy as their natural counterpart. Stick to real maple syrup. It might be pricey, but it is packed with antioxidants and other trace minerals, all of which your aging body needs.

22. Whipped toppings

Here is where the nutritional lines start to blur. Nowadays, the cream is back on the menu of healthy foods, because it contains healthy fats and other goodies. So why is whipped cream so bad for a person? It is the only cream that has been mixed until it is light and fluffy. Well, that is the case when you make your own whipped cream at home.

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Store-bought whipped cream is awful for you, and it isn’t even made from real cream. There are some dodgy lab-concocted ingredients like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and corn syrup that make up the bulk of the “cream.” None of those ingredients is figure friendly, and you will pick up weight in no time if you want to indulge. If whipping up your own cream is not your style, use fresh cream instead. It tastes fantastic with just about anything, and you can be sure that it is cream and not an artificial substitute.

21. Fast foods

There is no surprise here: Fast food is a definite no-go when you hit your 40s. When you eat fast food, you tend to want more of it, so it’s smart to just avoid it together. Fast food has also been linked to Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. A recent study of 3,000 participants showed that individuals who ate fast food more than twice a week were twice as likely to develop insulin resistance, and subsequently, diabetes. We haven’t even touched on the weight issues revolving around fast food yet!

Diabetes is a common disorder among people of all ages across the world. Shutterstock.

The poison lies in the name, “fast.” Most of these foods come premade and have gone through some preservative process. Then there is the sugar content: There is too much of it. Lastly, many fast food companies rely on MSG to enhance their food’s flavor. In the end, you end up craving more and overeating.

20. Canned soup

It isn’t just the sweet stuff you need to stay away from when you’re older. The savory side also has a couple of items you’re better off avoiding. Canned soup is one thing you can do without it. One helping of canned soup will use up half your daily sodium allowance, and most varieties have added MSG to enhance the flavor.

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Instead, with a little bit of planning, you’ll find that making soup is one of the easiest meals you can make. Buy some bone broth and add your leftover meats and veggies for a smooth soup. Bone broth is high in collagen, which is great for your skin. It restores skin-cell elasticity.

19. Pasta sauce

Pasta is already on the naughty list for those over 40, and the sauce is no better. Well, some of them at least. Store-bought sauces usually have tomatoes or tomato paste as a base, but it’s the added ingredients you need to be mindful of. These sauces often contain inflammatory oils and extra sugar and salt, and that is where the sauce becomes poison.

Carbohydrates, like pasta, are easily digested by the liver to produce sugar. Pixabay.

The great thing about pasta sauce, on the other hand, is the homemade versions. Pasta is one of the most versatile dishes, and you only have your imagination to stop you from making some delicious meals. Any meat can be added to your sauce, not to mention cheese. Don’t be shy with the cream, either. Fresh cream is the perfect companion to any pasta sauce. It will make your dish very rich, which also means that you won’t eat too much.

18. Processed peanut butter

We all remember the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we had growing up. Now that you’re all grown up, it’s time to leave the peanut butter alone. As with so many other things, the nutritional value of peanut butter is thrown out the window when they start to add hydrogenated and processed vegetable oils. The protein-packed spread changes to a cholesterol-enhancing one. Pure peanut butter can be considered a superfood. Not only is it high in protein, but it has a host of other benefits. It is linked to lower levels of cholesterol and also the prevention of diabetes.

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It is also packed with antioxidants and dietary fiber, which works wonders for your metabolism. Something that a person over 40 would appreciate. So the next time you go to the shops, don’t jump for the commercial Skippy. Find a natural alternative.

17. Vegetable oils

Your body works best when it is in balance. You also need certain oils to keep things in balance. One of the major imbalances that we struggle with within the 21st century is the omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, or omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Both fatty acids are important, but a balance is essential. Vegetable oils like soybean, corn and cottonseed oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, and it is therefore easy to throw your body out of whack when you consume too many vegetable oils.

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Most deep-fried foods are saturated in vegetable oils, and we commonly use vegetable oils when we cook at home as well. Therefore, if you want to maintain a healthy balance, alternate between vegetable and extra virgin olive oils. Your heart will be healthy, and you’ll feel better, too.

16. Boxed mac and cheese

When it comes to quick and easy meals, nothing comes close to boxed mac and cheese. When you were a kid, gulping down the bowl after bowl was nothing. Now that you have passed the age-40 barrier, you should reconsider whether you want to go down memory lane and crack open another box. Ask yourself how natural anything in that box can be. It is a tasty meal, but it contains more than 30% of your daily recommended sodium intake. The white pasta is also not doing your blood-sugar levels any favors.

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That is only the beginning. In order to get that cheesy flavor, highly processed cheese flavoring is used. In most cases, a high concentration of phthalate is found in powdered cheese. This is a substance that can cause some serious issues, including hormonal disruptions.

15. Bottled coffee

First off, why are so many people drawn to bottled coffee nowadays? Is the coffee milkshake not good enough anymore? Regardless, you’d do your best to stay away from most of these cold drinks. Although some of them have some nutritional value and boost your metabolism, many do exactly the opposite.

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Any flavored cold java will have an excess of sugar and calories that will destroy your waistline. The extra sugar also increases your risk of developing diabetes and messes with your hormones, so don’t be surprised when you suddenly have acne again. Many cold coffee brands aren’t even made from real coffee beans. Instead, they use instant coffee that doesn’t have anything close to the nutritional value of the real deal. Leave your coffee in the “hot drink” category; there are plenty of other cold beverages to choose from.

14. Toasted waffles

The most adults will tell you that breakfast is the most rushed time of the day. You have to get yourself, and your family fed and ready for the day. For convenience and time’s sake, you opt for quick and convenient meals to send everyone in their different directions. The food industry knows this, and they exploit this and provide families with easy ways out. In comes the toasted waffle to save the day.

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Now that you are 40, you can’t take the easy way out anymore. Toasted waffles are about as unhealthy as they come. It barely has any fiber and will give you a quick boost, but that is as far as it goes. You’ll also notice that you become hungry a lot quicker. There is a healthy alternative, however: Just take a banana or two, mash them up and beat in two or three eggs. Grate some cheese into the mix, and you have a balanced pancake or flapjack mixture.

13. Diet soda

Now that you’re 40, it’s time to cut back on the soda. You might be tempted to continue your ways, but opting for the sugar-free or zero-calorie alternatives is about the worst thing you can do. The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas are bad for you. The only thing it succeeds in doing is boosting your craving for more soda. In many cases, these sweeteners are 200-600 times sweeter than sugar, so a lot less of it is used. However, because of that high concentration, artificial sweeteners can trigger the pancreas to release insulin at the wrong time.

Speaking of sweeteners, aspartame is one of the worst chemicals you can put into your body. As more research is being done, the list of adverse effects that aspartame is associated with continues to grow, from headaches to nausea and even blindness. This is one chemical you want to stay away from.

12. Gluten-free foods

It seems like the world is gluten intolerant all of a sudden. Granted, some people have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, but if you are not one of them, gluten is fine so long as, just like everything else, it’s consumed in a balanced way. As you get older, your body needs all the help it can get to keep it functioning.

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Many whole grain foods contain the fiber you need to level out your blood sugar. Fiber also absorbs water which helps your body to process and digest your food, keeping you regular. Whole grains also promote the healthy bacteria you need to digest your food and get most of the nutrients out. There are, however, gluten-rich products that you can steer clear of. Any refined grains, like white bread and white pasta, are terrible for you. It has gluten, but none of the fiber your body needs.

11. Farmed fish

There is no denying that fish needs to be part of your diet, but with growing world populations and dwindling fish numbers, there has been a rise in farmed fish products. Although this might sound like a good idea, in theory, farmed fish are not as good for you as wild ones. The problem comes with their diet.

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These fish grow in captivity and rely on being fed. Their diet makes them rich in omega-6 fatty acids, and end up throwing your body out of balance. Wild fish don’t have that problem, and they provide you with the right amount of fatty acids to keep everything in balance. Look out for the organic or wild fish in the stores. They might cost a little bit more, but they have anti-inflammatory and many other benefits.

10. Commercial protein shakes

Fit is the new skinny, and there has been a market explosion in protein shakes and other whey products. However, for the over-40 body, you will have to settle for natural proteins if you want to bulk up. Many of these store-bought products are wrought with artificial additives, flavorings, added sugars hydrogenated oils and other preservatives. That is not to mention all the extra calories packed in each serving. You will bulk up, but definitely not in the muscular sense of the word.

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There are many protein-rich foods you can incorporate into your diet, and you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on expensive shakes. Skinless chicken is among the most protein-rich food you can eat. However, if you are a vegetarian, you also have options in the form of chickpeas or beans.

9. French fries

A burger and fries are out of the question when you reach your 40s. You might think eating just some fries can’t be all that bad. After all, what is a french fry but a potato cooked in oil? They might be made from potatoes, but once you fry them up, they are very far removed from potatoes in a nutritional sense. For starters, french fries don’t have the potato skin anymore, and that’s where most of the fiber and nutrients lie. Instead, you’re treated to some nasty fats and sodium.

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Hardly anyone eats fries as a stand-alone meal. They are usually accompanied by a burger, and that’s a vehicle for other sugar-saturated sauces and salts. Not to mention the refined wheat of the burger bun. If you want to have fries, make homemade ones with the skin still intact, and grill them in the oven.

8. Beef

This is a bitter pill to swallow for most men. If you can’t have beef any longer, it’s almost like a part of you dies. But no one said that growing older was going to be easy. Red meat is unfortunately not going to make a frequent appearance on your menus when you reach 40. The problem is not with the red meat itself, but rather with the age we live in. Everything needs to be faster, and we tend to consume more and at a faster rate than what can be produced.

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Because of this, scientists come up with hormone cocktails to speed up the growth process. The meat was more nutritious back in the day because the animals roamed free and ate natural food. Because of all the stuff we add to their diets, the meat changes and becomes unhealthy.

7. Doughnuts

It should come as no surprise that doughnuts are off the menu for the 40-year-old. These delectable treats are no friend to your gut or metabolism. If you break down the doughnut, there is just no nutritional value at all. First, the dough is made from refined wheat, which affects your blood-sugar levels. Then, it’s dunked in vegetable oil and fried, adding to the already high-calorie count.

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Then there is all the sugar. In the end, you are looking at close to 300 calories for a single doughnut. Even if you only have just one a day, you can still gain plenty of weight in a short period of time. They are also bad for your heart due to the refined nature of all the ingredients. The trans fats from the oil it is fried in will increase your cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

6. Freezer meals

For one thing, I’m glad these meals are on the list. Sure, they don’t take any effort to prepare, but they are about as unappetizing as they come. They generally don’t taste all that great, and they also don’t have the nutritional value of a decent home-cooked meal.

These meals are typically stripped of fiber, which means they will pass through your body in record time. However, this is not ideal since your body won’t have the time to absorb what little nutrients that are in the meal.

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Then come the add-ins: Freezer meals are usually made with too much sodium and sugar, and too little protein and healthy fats. You are better off spending a bit of time on Google and hunting down a few easy-to-prepare recipes. You’ll be amazed at what you can make with very little effort.

5. Energy drinks

When you reach your 40s, it feels like energy is sometimes a very rare commodity. It doesn’t matter how much you sleep; you still feel drained and tired. One could be forgiven for falling into temptation and gulping down an energy drink from time to time. However, this is very counterproductive, as these drinks are very high in sugar and caffeine. This means you will have a temporary boost of energy, but as soon as the concoction wares off, your body crashes.

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Your pearly whites will be the first indication that you are a frequent flyer when it comes to energy drinks. They tend to eat away at the enamel of your teeth, leaving you with unsightly stains. The sugar also dehydrates you, which will make your skin look older than 40. Skip the energy drink and instead make time for some exercise and drink plenty of water.

4. Veggie burgers

Here is an item not many people saw coming. Most of us already “know” that beef burgers are out of the question, but veggie burgers? There might be traces of real vegetables, but they don’t have nearly the same nutritional value as normal veggies. For one, these burgers are not great providers of vitamin B12, which means you will turn grey much sooner than you think. This is not good news for the 40-year-old who is trying his best to look a bit younger. Then there are the other essential oils.

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Veggie burgers are another meal that is high in sodium and omega-6 fatty acids. Beef burgers, on the other hand, have more than enough omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 has been linked to a decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. It also gives the metabolism a boost and you will be losing weight in no time.

3. Sugar-free candy

I don’t know of many men who don’t have a sweet tooth. But your sugar intake needs to be cut drastically when you reach your 40s. Many people opt for sugar-free candies and foods to try and taper their sugar intake. It sounds like a good idea, in theory, seeing that the artificial sweeteners have a much more reduced effect on your blood-sugar levels and can be used as a tool to lose weight. However, you might want to weigh a few side effects before going sugar-free.

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To begin with, there have been cases where the person develops an upset stomach, and the candy acts more like a laxative. The waistline is another area affected, seeing that the liver can’t do its job properly anymore.

2. Doritos

Let’s face it: Doritos are amazing. They taste like heaven, and you can polish off a freshly opened bag in no time. This is all well and good when you are younger and your body can handle the calories, but when you hit your 40s, you need to control your portion sizes much better. Your body is amazing and very adaptable. It also learns how to get along with much less, and use fewer calories as it gets older.

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Doritos do not play well into this scenario, as MSG is one of the ingredients used to enhance the flavor. It also increases your craving for more, exactly the reason you just can’t seem to stop eating once you open the bag. You have much less control over your portion sizes, and your waistline is the thing that gets punished.

1. Jerky

Jerky isn’t necessarily everyone’s favorite snack, but for those who enjoy the taste of cured meats, be mindful of the jerky. When jerky is hung to dry, it has to be preserved or it becomes moldy or rots. These preservatives and spices are very high in sodium, which is not your heart’s friend. The paleo diet is a newer fad among fitness fanatics and jerky is among the top foods prescribed as a workout snack.

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The reason for its popularity is the protein that it provides. In small quantities, jerky is not that bad for you, and those who love it will tell you that it is very difficult to keep to a prescribed serving. Due to the monounsaturated fats in a jerky, it doesn’t raise insulin levels and therefore doesn’t trigger the body to store fat. However, too much jerky can have the opposite effect and you will pick up extra pounds in no time.