Nutrition needs for males vary throughout the lifespan. The greatest nutritional needs occur during periods of growth, which for males are during infancy and adolescence. Typically in men older than 50 years of age nutrition needs remain steady or in some cases may even start to decline. Food intake often lessens due to various factors that affect eating and appetite. The goal of nutrition interventions for aging men is adequate intake to help maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic and debilitating diseases. In this blog post, we will explore the different nutrition needs of men older than 50 years old. In general, these needs will address the average healthy man. When addressing the nutritional needs of older people weight status, current medical conditions, and psychological aspect of aging need to be considered. 1. Calories [perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The USDA 2015 Guidelines suggest men decrease the number of calories they consume per day from 2200 to 2000 calories after the age of 51.[/perfectpullquote] Calorie needs typically decrease in aging men. The USDA 2015 Guidelines suggest men decrease the number of calories they consume per day from 2200 to 2000 calories after the age of 51.With aging, energy needs can decrease related to a decline in activity and lean body mass. Typically, men will notice a slower metabolism. A decrease in appetite and less active taste buds can make it challenging for some older men to meet these calorie needs. 2. Protein While it was once thought protein intake in men should decline with age, recent data support a slightly higher protein intake for aging men. Muscle loss starts to occur around the age of 50. The good news is that consuming ample amounts of protein coupled with proper amounts of physical activity can help decrease the rate of loss. Protein intake may also play a role in bone health. Current studies suggest aging men should aim for about 1.0-1.2 g/kg of body weight or 56 grams per day. One of the main exceptions to this rule is a man who suffers from any type kidney function impairment. 3. Carbohydrates Carbohydrate needs remain constant throughout most of the male adult lifespan. Adequate carbohydrate intake for an older male is typically 45% to 65% of total calories or 130 grams per day to protect protein from being used as an energy source. Ideal carbohydrate sources include whole grains, legumes, fruit, starchy vegetables, and other complex carbohydrates. 4. Vitamin Needs Additional vitamin supplementation may be needed in aging men who are not able to get sufficient amounts from their food intake. Low vitamin D status in older adults is common, yet is needed for calcium to promote healthy bones. Include vitamin D-fortified foods such as milk or yogurt each day. Other calcium-rich foods include fortified cereals and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables and canned fish with soft bones. Many males over the age of 50 do not get sufficient vitamin B12 in their diet. Fortified cereal, lean meat and some fish and seafood are sources of vitamin B12. Folate and vitamin B-6 are also sometimes found to be low in aging males. Speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian to determine if you need any additional vitamin supplementation.