Paleo Diet for Senior Athletes
If you’re a man over 50, the Paleo Diet is one key component for healthy living
Men over 50 should be looking at every health alternative available to them, and a seniors fitness strategy always includes proper nutrition.
So what does “proper nutrition” really mean in an applicable way? Let’s get into some usable detail!
Perhaps the easiest way for seniors to get their diet and nutrition needs straight is through adopting the Paleo Diet.
If you haven’t heard, the Paleo Diet is also known as the caveman diet, because it closely emulates our diets going back to the hunter-gatherer days of human evolution. That’s right, we’re talking about basic lean meat, fish, raw vegetables and fruits. What could be simpler and easier to follow?
A combination of well-grounded theory and also some scientific proof states that the human genome has not evolved quickly enough to adapt to modern diets. The thinking continues that our modern diets, including abundant omega 6 fats, grains, dairy, flour, and even legumes contribute to inflammation.
A growing body of evidence points to inflammation as the new culprit for ailments such as heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few. To be sure, some debate remains about the inflammation’s health impacts and the role to which modern diets contributes to this inflammation. That’s okay, we can leave that out of the discussion for a while.
Seniors have special diet needs, namely recognizing that after 50 our metabolisms slow and we need fewer calories as we age. So it just inherently makes sense that we’d look to a diet structure that’s higher in nutrition value, including more protein, more fiber, and more low-glycemic carbohydrates as a percent of total calories consumed.
Given that, the Paleo Diet becomes a natural fit for senior athletes over age 50. In fact, a man over 50 needs about 20% fewer calories; that’s got to be subtracted from somewhere, either portion sizes or less calorie-dense foods, or both.
So what then are the real advantages with the Paleo Diet for senior men?
First, it’s lean meat. As we age, our bodies become less efficient absorbing nutrients. Although this is also an argument for supplementation in senior men, most important is getting sufficient protein from natural sources. The Paleo theme suggests lean meats, which would include alternatives to beef including free-range bison, free-range chicken, and line-caught fish.
Second, it’s fresh, preferably organic fruits and vegetables prepared as close to their natural states as possible (read: uncooked). These foods provide the good, low-glycemic carbohydrates that our bodies need for energy but break down slowly with minimal insulin impact. Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables provide fiber that slows the digestion process, allowing more time for nutrition uptake.
Lastly, the Paleo Diet advantage for seniors come from nuts and seeds that add healthy omega 3 fats. It’s very important to always note that we need healthy fats for our bodies to function properly, including internal organs, skin, and joints.
Does the Paleo diet provide additional health benefits for senior men beyond just nutrition? Although studies continue, many early findings point to these additional health benefits. If so, that’s just one more attribute of the Paleo Diet in the plus column.
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