A lot of rhetorical one-liners exists to mollify the negativity associated with aging; one that does a vigorous round nowadays is – ’50 is the new 30’. While such quips can pep you up momentarily, realities associated with the process of aging will hit you hard soon enough.
There is no denying that with age, after 50 to be precise, comes the risk of certain chronic ailments like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The best way to avoid these troubles is to be careful about what you eat. Dieticians worldwide agree that cutting down on foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and sugars, is the best way to retain good health after hitting 50.
Here are some of the foods, avoiding which will put you in good stead, health-wise -
Avoid dessert in breakfast
Desserts like cake and pastries are tempting but are packed with calories and added sugar while lacking in protein and fibre. Remember! Protein intake during breakfast is a ground-rule as it improves the ratio of your body fat to your muscle.
Other vital roles played by protein include –
- Checking the loss of lean muscle mass that is common after 50 years of age.
- Thwarting weight gain by prompting satiety hormone secretion, which in turn enhances the sensation of satiation, thus reducing cravings for food.
- Boosting blood sugar control as well as controlling insulin levels after consuming carbohydrates, therefore, effectively lessening the hazard of type 2 diabetes in the long run.
For breakfast, choose food having high nutrients but comparatively fewer calories; also remember to include food belonging to diverse groups. Eat fruits.
See red flag when you see red meats
Any kind of red meat is bad for your heart, and if that meat is processed, it is worse. Red or not, processed meat is saturated with fat and has high calories. Please stay away from them. Saturated fat is quick in increasing “bad” cholesterol, thus raising the risk of cardiac diseases. Processed meat is also linked with colorectal cancer, either due to its high-fat content or because of the added preservatives. If you are having meat, go for cooked meat and stick to chicken. Avoid beef by all means.
White chocolates are calorie bombs
White chocolates are entirely devoid of health benefits that dark ones have. They are primarily vegetable fat and are highly infused with added sugar, so much so that a 1.4-oz of the white chocolate bar comes with nearly 230 calories, 20 g of sugar and 16 g of fat.
That said, dark chocolates which contain cocoa solids is replete with numerous beneficial antioxidants, flavanols, known for reducing risks associated with heart disease and insulin resistance. They are also useful in lowering blood pressure. Despite the same calorie and fat content, dark chocolate when taken in moderate quantities (1 to 3 oz daily) is good for you!
Stay away from protein Bars
That protein bars are healthy is a great misconception. These bars are nothing but candy bars chock-full of calories and added sugar, yet clamouring to be healthy. If you are still going for a protein bar, ensure it is high in protein and low in sugar, i.e. it contains less than seven gram of sugar. Better is to choose a snack of nuts, raisins, or sunflower seeds, provided they are not salted.
Watch your cheese
The mouth-watering yellow-orange cheese dripping from your sandwich and burgers is not real cheese but a product containing cheese and a host of other stuff like starch, milk fat, salt, oil, preservatives and emulsifiers. They also come with a considerable amount of fat, salt, additives which endow them with colour and flavour. While opting for such products always check the level to know the cheese content of it.
According to experts, at least 51 per cent cheese content is mandatory to be called a cheese food which is a fine source of calcium and mineral, essential for healthy bones and teeth and also for numerous other body functions. The best cheese is goat cheese which is high in fatty acids and does not pose any threat for your heart. However, limit your cheese intake to 2 oz daily.
Remember! You look what you eat.
Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP