Eating right in your 40s and 50s is about more than just looking good or staying slim: It’s about nourishing your body—the body you have now, which is not the same as the body you had 20 years ago. Here’s what to cut from and add to your diet to stay healthy.
Bagels. Cutting white carbs, especially in oversized portions, fights the weight “creep” that occurs at this age.
Soda. “You’ll want to rethink empty calories if your metabolism is slowing down,” says Barrie Wolfe, MS RD, a nutritionist in Chappaqua.
Red meat. It’s high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which contributes to the risk of heart disease.
French fries. In other words, carbs fried in fat and then doused with salt. Not worth it.
Processed foods. “Stay away from anything in a can, jar, or package—it tends to be higher in salt and have preservatives,” says Wolfe. “Move toward whole, unprocessed foods.”
Oatmeal or whole-wheat toast “Fiber fights weight gain by filling you up,” says Wolfe. “And that’s key because metabolism slows every decade. Also, fiber helps lower your cholesterol.”
Chicken or beef broth. The gelatin and collagen found in trendy “bone broth” soothe the intestinal tract and strengthen immunity.
Salmon, sardines & walnuts. “We nutritionists love omega-3 fatty acids—they’re good for heart health, may help improve memory, and combat inflammation and arthritic pain.”
Strawberries. “Foods rich in Vitamin C boost collagen, the protein that keeps skin looking firm and young,” says Wolfe. “Per cup, strawberries have more Vitamin C than oranges.”
Salads. Include lots of dark leafy greens tossed with peppers, kiwi, berries, or other “watery” fruits and veggies to increase hydration.
Red wine and dark chocolate. “They’ve got antioxidants, which protect cells from environmental pollutants, guard against skin damage, give a healthy glow, and may help improve memory and fight cancer,” says Wolfe.