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.
It seems like the world is gluten intolerant all of a sudden. Granted, some people have a 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.
Many whole grain foods contain the fiber you need to level out your blood sugar. The fiber also absorbs water which helps your body to process and digests 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, is terrible for you. It has the gluten, but none of the fiber your body needs.
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 the wild ones. The problem comes with their diet.
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.
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.
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.
A burger and fries is 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 any more, and that’s where most of the fiber and nutrients lie. Instead, you’re treated to some nasty fats and sodium.
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.
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.
Because of this, scientists come up with hormone cocktails to speed up the growth process. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 weight a few side effects before going sugar-free.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.