When creating a diet for a 60-year-old man, include plenty of lean proteins, whole foods and other nutrients, recommends the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Moderately active and very active men require more daily calories than sedentary men to fuel their higher physical activity levels.
Older Men’s Nutritional Needs
Men over 50 have specific nutritional needs, states the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you're a sedentary older male, you should consume around 2,000 calories daily. Moderately active older men should aim for 2,200 to 2,400 calories each day, while a very active senior should take in 2,400 to 2,800 calories each day.
Although you might consume fewer daily calories than a younger man, you still need an equal amount (or possibly more) of varied healthy foods and nutrients. Besides lean proteins, include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and plant-derived fats in your diet each day.
Adding beneficial complex carbohydrates is also important when planning a diet for men over 60, notes HelpGuide.org, a nonprofit mental health and wellness website. Whole-grain foods that contain useful fiber and nutrients are best.
Stay away from products containing white flour or refined sugar, such as white bread, cookies and candy. These foods can drastically spike your blood sugar before it makes a rapid turn downward, causing you to feel hungry and increasing the chance of you overeating.
Fiber, Fats and Nutrients
Add sufficient dietary fiber that will help you to feel full, contribute to normal bowel functions and enhance "good" bacteria health. Higher dietary fiber consumption has also been linked to lower risks of developing heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. If you're a man over 50, consuming 30 grams of fiber daily is advisable, says HelpGuide.org. Examples of high-fiber foods include vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruits.
Remember to include heart-healthy fats such as unsaturated fats, found in extra-virgin olive oil, walnuts, almonds and avocados. Limit saturated fats, such as those derived from full-fat dairy and meat, to less than 10 percent of your daily calories.
If you're a man ages 51 to 70, consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, advises the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Calcium contributes to good bone health. Fat-free and low-fat dairy products and deep green leafy vegetables are good sources.
Ramping up your potassium intake and reducing your sodium consumption, could help to decrease your high blood pressure risk. Bananas and sweet potatoes are excellent potassium sources. Replace undesirable salt with tasty spices and herbs.
Read more: Men's Daily Nutritional Requirements
Diet for Men Over 60
If you're a moderately active man of at least 66 years old, Harvard Health Publishing states that you should consume about 2,200 calories every day. Formulating a well-rounded diet is important for men over 60. In addition, keep a close eye on portion sizes so you don't consume more calories than you need to.
Include 5 to 6 ounces of meat, poultry or fish daily in your diet. If you're eating 42 ounces of meat-based protein weekly, 12 ounces should be comprised of seafood.
Add 2 1/2 to 3 cups of differently colored vegetables to your diet. Spinach, kale and other dark, leafy greens are ideal. Peppers, tomatoes and yellow squash are also good options. Include beans, peas and other legumes as well.
Eat 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruit each day. Fruit canned in its own juice is also a good choice. Choose from peaches, cherries, berries, kiwis and other tasty and nutritious varieties.
A good diet for men over 60 should also contain 1/2 cup of whole-grain foods daily. Look for cereals, breads and crackers with the words "whole grain" or "whole wheat" before the food's name.
Add 1 to 3 cups of dairy products, such as milk or yogurt, to your diet. Finally, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of healthy oils to your daily diet. Olive, avocado, canola and peanut oils are good options.
Metabolism and Weight Loss
Your body's metabolism or calorie-burning mechanism gradually slows down as you become older, says the Mayo Clinic. If you continue your normal diet plan for a 60-year-old male, but reduce your amount of physical activity, you'll start to pack on extra pounds. To avoid that unwelcome result, eat a healthy diet and find ways to stay physically active.
Along with your diet plan for a 60-year-old male, engage in 30 minutes or more of physical activity almost every day, recommends the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These regular workouts will help to increase your body's metabolism. Regular exercise can also help to make your muscles stronger and keep your bones healthy.
Remaining physically active can gradually raise your energy levels, giving you more "oomph" when you need it — so you may be able to add a quarter mile to your walks, swim five more laps in the pool or extend your gym workout a bit. Regular exercise can also be a real mood lifter, which is a valuable benefit in itself.
Exercise Recommendations for Older Men
Adults of all ages, including older adults, can benefit from regular exercise, states the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Mixing up the four primary exercise types will provide maximum benefits and will help to make your diet plan more effective.
Aerobic (or endurance-building) activities heighten your heart rate and breathing. Try jogging, brisk walking, swimming, dancing or cycling. For variety, create a weekly routine that includes multiple aerobic activities.
Strength training builds muscle strength, which in turn makes it easier to perform activities such as raking leaves and lifting heavy grocery bags. If you belong to a gym, ask a trainer to help you develop a strength-training workout. Lifting hand weights and working with a resistance band are also good options.
Flexibility exercises or stretching workouts can help your body to move more freely. In turn, you'll find it easier to perform other types of exercise. Include time for balance workouts, too.
If you're new to regular exercise or you're getting back in the groove after a period of inactivity, consult with your physician before you get started. After getting the green light, begin slowly and gradually progress until you reach your desired goal. Recruiting a workout buddy can help to keep you motivated (and accountable), and you can share your success stories throughout the journey.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Nutrition for Older Men"
- HelpGuide.org: "Eating Well as You Age"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "New Thinking on Daily Food Goals"
- Mayo Clinic: "Aging: What to Expect"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Exercise for Older Adults"
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: "Calcium"