You may think that a healthy diet plan that works for you should also work for most men you know.
While it is true general guidelines for nutrition are applicable for both men and women, like in many other regards, the sexes are different — which means that our nutritional needs are different, too.
What are the main ways our nutritional needs diverge? Here are the details.
Nutritional Needs of Women vs. Men
The amount of calories you need to consume per day is dependent on your current body size and your exercise levels. Maintaining weight means you balance the amount of calories you take in and the amount of calories you burn. To lose weight, you’ll need to up the amount of calories you burn, lower the amount of calories you consume, or some combination of the two. But men have an advantage when it comes to calories and nutritional needs — while a moderately active woman should consume 2,000 calories per day, a similarly active man can eat 2,800 and still maintain his size. As we’ve said before, men just seem to have a natural edge when it comes to calorie limits.
You can add fiber to the list of nutritional needs that vary between men and women. Research has proved that fiber can lower your colon cancer risk along with your risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Men’s fiber needs are greater than women’s — before age 50, men need 38 grams per day compared to 25 for women. The recommended levels for men and women drop to 30 and 21, respectively, after age 50. Some great sources of fiber to satisfy your nutritional needs include:
- 1 cup split peas = 16.3 g of fiber
- 1 cup cooked black beans = 15 g of fiber
- 1 medium cooked artichoke = 10.3 g of fiber
- 1 cup raspberries = 8 g of fiber
- 1 cup whole-wheat cooked spaghetti = 6.3 g of fiber
- 1 medium oat bran muffin = 5.2 g of fiber
- 1 medium apple with skin = 4.4 g of fiber
- 1 cup cooked sweet corn = 4 g of fiber
- 1 cup cooked instant oatmeal = 4 g of fiber
- 1 cup cooked brown rice = 3.5 g of fiber
- 1 oz pistachios = 2.9 g of fiber
Women are at higher risk for osteoporosis, which makes their nutritional needs different from those of men. Whereas men 50+ only need 1,000 mg of calcium a day, women should get 1,200 mg. The levels should vary not only because women are at higher risk for osteoporosis, but also because calcium can be harmful to men in large amounts. Research has shown that men who consume more than 2,000 mg of calcium per day increase their risk of developing advanced prostate cancer. Be sure to consult the following list of calcium-rich foods to ensure you meet (but don’t exceed!) your nutritional needs:
- 8 oz plain low fat yogurt = 415 mg of calcium
- 1.5 oz part skim mozzarella = 333 mg of calcium
- 1.5 oz cheddar cheese = 307 mg of calcium
- 8 oz 2% milk = 293 mg of calcium
- 6 oz calcium-fortified orange juice = 261 mg of calcium
- 3 oz pink canned salmon = 181 mg of calcium
- 1 cup cottage cheese, 1% milk fat = 138 mg of calcium
- 1 cup raw chopped kale = 100 mg of calcium
- 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream = 84 mg of calcium
- 1 slice white bread = 73 mg of calcium
- 1 6″ corn tortilla = 46 mg of calcium
- 1/2 cup raw broccoli = 21 mg of calcium
Since women lose iron during menstruation, their nutritional needs dictate higher iron consumption than men: 18 mg per day compared to 8 mg. Consuming the right amount of iron will prevent men and women from developing iron deficiency anemia, which can lead to fatigue and weakness, lower cognitive function, and decreased immunity. Here are some excellent sources of iron to fulfill your nutritional needs:
- 1 oz roasted pumpkin seeds = 4.2 mg of iron
- 1/2 cup canned white beans = 3.9 mg of iron
- 1/2 cup of cooked fresh spinach = 3.2 mg of iron
- 3 oz of cooked beef bottom round roast = 2.8 mg of iron
- 3 oz canned shrimp = 2.3 mg of iron
- 1/2 cup tomato puree = 2.2 mg of iron
- 3 oz cooked beef top sirloin = 2 mg of iron
The Best Side For Good Nutrition?
Meeting your nutritional needs is part of staying healthy — but it’s also key that you maintain a regular exercise routine, too! Located nationwide, TITLE Boxing Club is the ideal health club for high-intensity boxing and kickboxing classes. Find your TITLE Boxing Club today and learn how to get your First Shot Free.