Getting older is inevitable. So all the better to grow old well, namely in good health! And if there is one thing you can control from around the age of 45-50, it's the diet which should be of increasingly good quality.
All of the organs age and the metabolism therefore changes: adapt accordingly! Little heed should also be paid to certain received ideas such as your nutritional requirements diminishing with age!
From the menopause/andropause and with older age…some dietary advice and menu suggestions… to breathe life into the years.
During the menopause/andropause, from around 45-50, the dietary rule should be "diversity and balance", a rule that is all the more important as hormonal imbalance can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland and slow down the metabolism.
Breaking down and assimilating food becomes slower: by eating the same thing there is a tendency to put on weight!
For women, excess fat is deposited around the waist and on the stomach.
Men increase their levels of abdominal fat, a cardio-vascular risk factor to be monitored.
For men several factors influence the reduction of testosterone levels, notably:
diabetes and the metabolic syndrome
foods with a high glycemic index
excess weight which increases the activity of an enzyme that converts some testosterone into a feminising hormone
endocrine disruptors, especially pesticides
Dietary advice for men and women over 50
adopt food with a low glycemic index (green vegetables, fruit, pulses, wholemeal or semi-wholemeal cereals), that are high in fibre and with good fatty acids (first cold-press oils, oily fish 2 or 3 times a week, oil seeds, olives, avocado)
keep off excess weight (no snacking, reduce intake of sugar, deli products and alcohol…)
consume foods free of pesticides, i.e. organically sourced
choose high-quality lean meats (poultry without skin, white meats…) and increase your consumption of fish: cook in the steamer, in cooking paper or in their own juices in the pot
favourvegetable proteins by combining pulses and wholemeal grains
limit the intake of salt, sugar and coffee
During your latter years!
The quality of your diet is now more important than ever.
The functions slow down but nutritional requirements do not diminish with age, on the contrary!
To breathe new life into your latter years, a few recommendations:
Reduction in muscle mass (sarcopenia) and bone demineralisation (osteoporosis) are physiological changes associated with age. The power of the muscles reduces in older people gradually, increasing the risks of falling and loss of independence. Consuming foods high in proteins (requirements increase by 20% with age), nutrients necessary for muscle development, and in vitamin D, and taking physical exercise constitute the basis for preventing the risk of muscle loss. Alternate your sources of protein: meat, fish, egg with pulses and cereals combined to "fill up" with all the essential amino-acids.
Bone strength also reduces with age and can lead to fractures: ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium. With age the effective synthesis of vitamin D is reduced and provision through the diet (oily fish, butter, egg yolks, mushrooms, etc.) is often insufficient: consider a supplement such as ERGY D, high in naturally-sourced vitamin D. Nutritional requirement of calcium is 1200 mg/day for seniors which can be obtained through hard goat's or ewe's cheese, mineral water rich in calcium, oily fish, almonds, cabbage, dried fruit, green vegetables, algae, etc.
Oxidation stress particularly affects seniors. Antioxidant protection therefore needs to be enhanced through brightly coloured foods, trace elements and specific vitamins.
Also spare a thought for zinc, essential for the immune system and the healing of wounds.
Hydration must be maintained. The sensation of thirst diminishes with age; you must therefore drink even when not thirsty.
In summary: a diet rich in proteins, calcium, fibre, green vegetables, oil seeds, fruit and vegetables and aromatics rich in antioxidants.
Budwig cream or 1 soft-boiled egg or ERGYNUTRIL® or VÉGÉNUTRIL® or goat's or ewe's cheese. 1 slice of wholemeal or semi-wholemeal bread with butter or almond puree or "Claire's Savoury Pancakes"*
Seasonal raw vegetables dressed in first cold-press oil (rapeseed, walnut, olive + sunflower or sesame seeds) White or red meat, poultry or fish Green vegetables Wholegrain or semi-wholegrain cereals or pulses or bread 1 fruit puree
1 seasonal fruit Or 1 fruit or plain soya yoghurt Or 1 handful of nuts (hazelnuts, almonds…) Or 1 homemade fruit tart
Vegetable soup or cooked vegetables Pulses and wholegrain or semi-wholegrain cereals (pasta, rice, lentils, chick peas, split peas, beans…) 1 fruit puree
Drink at least 1 litre of mineral water per day.
* In a bowl place 4 to 5 soup spoons of gluten-free flour (arrowroot, buckwheat), add one egg and salt, then liquify with rice or soya milk. Cook in the pan like a pancake. This savoury pancake can replace bread at mealtimes.
Claire DESCHAINTRES: Nutrition advisor at NUTERGIA
To find out more
Jeune à 50 ans Dr Claude Dalle Publisher: Editions Thierry Souccar 2009