If you just turned the big 5-0, you might wonder if your nutritional needs are going to change during this new decade of your life. You're on the precipice of needing fewer calories -- at 51, your caloric needs decrease by 200 calories a day. However, at 50, you can continue to consume the same number of calories that you have since you turned 31, according to the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010" -- that is, 1,800 a day if you're sedentary, 2,000 if you're somewhat active, and 2,200 calories if you're active.
Breaking It Down
You can't live on 1,800 calories of junk food. Your daily caloric breakdown, whether it's closer to 1,800 or 2,200 calories per day, should include 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent protein and 20 to 35 percent fat. In addition, you'll need vital micronutrients, including B vitamins -- particularly B-6 and B-12 -- calcium and vitamin D, plus antioxidants found in brightly colored fruits and veggies.