The Best Diet Plans for Men Over 45

As men age, it becomes harder for them to keep weight off because of their inactivity and decrease in lean body mass, according to the American Dietetic Association. The added weight increases their risk for heart disease, diabetes and an early death. The best diet plan for men over 45 is one that includes foods they enjoy eating that they can follow for the rest of their lives.

A healthy meat and vegetable dish. Credit: YelenaYemchuk/iStock/Getty Images

Low Carbohydrate Diet

A 2004 study published in "Nutrition and Metabolism" compared the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet versus a low-fat diet on weight loss in both men and women. The study found that the men following the low-carbohydrate diet lost more weight, especially around the abdomen, than the men following the low-fat diet, and therefore a low-carbohydrate diet may be one of the best diet plans for men over 45. A low-carbohydrate diet typically limits total carbohydrate intake to 50 g to 150 g, according to MayoClinic.com. The diet consists of meats, fats and vegetables. In the past, most low-carbohydrate diets encouraged the intake of high saturated fat foods such as red meat and bacon. These days, many of the well-known low-carbohydrate diets encourage the use of lean meats, like chicken and fish, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. While the low-carbohydrate diet will help men over 45 lose weight, some men may find it difficult to stay away from breads and fruits the rest of their lives.

The Mediterranean Diet

Once men reach the age of 45, their risk of heart disease increases, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. The Mediterranean diet is one of the best diet plan choices for men over 45 because it can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. In addition to helping your heart, people who follow the Mediterranean diet also have lower rates of some cancers, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. The diet consists of mostly plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Instead of butter, you use olive oil as your primary source of fat. The Mediterranean diet also limits your intake of red meat to a few times a month, and encourages you to eat fish as your primary source of protein. Chicken, eggs and low-fat dairy foods in moderation are also allowed on the Mediterranean diet.

DASH Diet

Men do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Men need nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day to limit their risk of chronic illness. The DASH diet, or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was originally designed to help lower blood pressure. But it may also be one of the best diet choices for men because its high fruit and vegetable recommendations. The DASH diet also encourages the intake of whole grains, lean sources of protein and low-fat and nonfat dairy products. Eating more of these low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods will help you maintain a healthy weight. The diet is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and fiber, all important nutrients for lowering and maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

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