Age, gen­der af­fect nu­tri­tional needs

Greenwich Time - - ADVICE / GAMES - Shirley D., St. Joseph, Mis­souri Michael Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Med­i­cal Of­fi­cer at the Cleve­land Clinic Well­ness In­sti­tute. Sub­mit your health ques­tions at www.doc­toro

Q: My hus­band are both 45 and about the same height and weight (5 feet, 8 inches, and 150 pounds). Should we eat the same kinds and amounts of foods?

A: Height and weight are not the only cri­te­ria that de­ter­mine how much and what foods you should eat. Your nu­tri­tional needs are also in­flu­enced by your ac­tiv­ity level, age and your gen­der.

Are you ac­tive? While a 45-year-old seden­tary woman who is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds may burn 1,934 calo­ries a day or less, an ac­tive woman with the same stats can con­sume 2,445 calo­ries and main­tain her weight. (An ac­tive man with the same stats — 2,752 calo­ries.) So you want to tai­lor what you eat to your ac­tiv­ity level and your de­sired weight.

Are you in per­i­menopause or menopause? That of­ten ush­ers in weight gain. So you want to change what and when you eat. Smart steps: Wait 13 or more hours be­tween din­ner and break­fast; eat a lean-protein, fresh fruit and 100-per­cent-whole­grain break­fast; and never have din­ner (light and lean) later than 8 p.m.

Are you happy? A study pub­lished in Nu­tri­tional Neu­ro­science found that women’s brains re­quire an es­pe­cially nu­tri­ent-rich diet to achieve max­i­mum hap­pi­ness and men­tal health. Seems as men and women evolved, their brains de­vel­oped anatom­i­cal and func­tional dif­fer­ences that in­flu­ence sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to men­tal disease. The bot­tom line is, “women need a larger spec­trum of nu­tri­ents to sup­port mood, com­pared to men,” and many are not get­ting them.

So it’s im­por­tant that women (and men too!) avoid highly pro­cessed foods, added sug­ars and ad­di­tives that can al­ter gut bac­te­ria and the nu­tri­tional bal­ance in the body. They need to make sure they get iron-rich food, like chicken, turkey, fish, kale, spinach, beans and lentils; fo­late-rich cit­rus fruits, leafy greens, beans and peas; cal­cium-rich, non­fat dairy, sar­dines, tofu and dark leafy greens; and vi­ta­min D from fatty fish like salmon and all va­ri­eties of mush­rooms.

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