Men Over 50 Should Avoid Eating This Popular Breakfast Food

When a man puts 50 candles on his birthday cake, that's about the age when he'll need to visit the doctor a little more often. Even if men are healthy through their adult lives, an annual wellness exam can pay closer attention to age-related health conditions like heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes. An annual exam will also take a look at your prostate health, and your doctor will ensure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are within a healthy range.

Men (and women) also have to pay a little more attention to their diet as they age to avoid conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. You might have gotten away with high-sugar or high-fat diets in your younger years, but foods high in fat and sugar can lead to inflammation and cellular dysfunction, according to a 2021 article in GeroScience. You'll need to get plenty of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while avoiding convenience foods that can be high in sugar and low in nutrients. That means getting rid of those toaster pastries in your pantry.

Toaster pastries are high in sugar

The American Heart Association suggests that men should limit their daily sugar intake to 36 grams a day. If you start your day with a Pop-Tart toaster pastry, you'll already be at 42% of your limit. Although Pop-Tarts are relatively low in fat and have 3 grams of fiber, they have just 2 grams of protein. Protein helps to keep you feeling full while staving off age-related muscle loss. Pop-Tarts are a good source of iron and have 100 milligrams of calcium. You'll also get a few B vitamins.

The National Institutes of Health suggests a smoothie made with fruit, spinach, and yogurt for some protein. A smoothie made with a cup of blueberries, a cup of spinach, and 6 ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt has just 204 calories and 21 grams of protein. Sure, you'll get 18 grams of sugar, but the sugars come from lactose in the yogurt and naturally occurring sugars in the blueberries. Plus, the 6.2 grams of fiber in this healthier breakfast swap will fill you up and prevent constipation. This smoothie has three times the calcium of your Pop-Tart and more than 600 milligrams of potassium to control your blood pressure.

Foods to include if you're over 50

The AARP says berries and leafy greens like spinach are smart choices if you're over 50. You might already know that berries are one of the staple foods in the MIND diet that helps to prevent cognitive decline. The calcium and antioxidants in leafy greens can protect your bones and ward off dementia. Another good source of calcium is cottage cheese, which is high in slow-digesting casein protein.

Rather than reaching for a greasy cheeseburger, fish such as salmon have omega-3 fatty acids that can protect against memory loss and lower cholesterol. Nuts and seeds also have omega-3s. The National Institutes of Health suggests limiting sodium and using lemon or other salt-free seasonings in your foods. If chopping fruits and/or vegetables is a pain, choose pre-cut fruits and vegetables in the produce section. Older adults sometimes develop a vitamin B12 deficiency because their declining stomach acid can limit B12's absorption. You might need to eat cereals or foods fortified with vitamin B12 or consider taking a B12 supplement.