Just For Men – Stay Healthy Over 50

older man on a bicycle It’s no secret that your body changes as you age, but you can help ease the process by treating your body right. Stay well for longer! Use these tips to learn how to combat health conditions that may affect men as they age.    

Nutrition and Aging

As part of normal aging, the nutrition needs of men will change. Your ability to burn calories slows down as you get older so the amount of food you need to eat will likely decrease, or you may find that your appetite is smaller.

Getting older also means that the amount of vitamins and minerals that you need for good health may be different than when you were younger.  Your body may have trouble absorbing certain nutrients from foods, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Ask your doctor or Registered Dietitian for advice, or click here  to learn more.  

Health issues for men to think about

Some of the most common reasons why people get sick, especially as they age, are from smoking cigarettes, getting no exercise and making poor food choices. Luckily, there is time for you to make healthy changes!

 The following four health problems often occur in men over the age of 50. For each one, you’ll find ideas for what to do “more of” or “less of” to remain healthy for longer.  

1. Heart disease

Heart disease is a term for many different conditions that affect the heart and arteries. These may include heart attacks, chest pain and blocked arteries. To help reduce the risk of heart disease, choose:  


  • Fatty fish with omega-3 fats (salmon, trout). Aim for two servings per week.
  • Fibre from whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.
  • Healthier fats like olive or canola oil and trans fat-free margarine.
  • Unsalted nuts – no more than ¼ cup (60 mL) serving five times per week.
  • Physical activity – 30-60 minutes on most days of the week.


2. Prostate cancer and older men

This is the most common type of cancer in older men. It affects the prostate gland, which is part of the male reproductive system. To help lower your risk of prostate cancer, choose:


  • Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes and cooked tomato products, such as juice, sauce, soup and paste. 
  • Selenium, a mineral found in Brazil nuts, whole grains and meat.
  • Vegetables and fruit.
  • Legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils) and soy.


  • Processed meat. Limit smoked, cured or salted meats such as ham, sausage, hotdogs, bacon and salami.
  • Calcium. Get the recommended amount of calcium each day (1200 mg), but not more. While calcium is vital for strong bones, getting too much calcium (beyond 1500 mg/day) may increase prostate cancer risk.

3. Gout and older men

Gout is a type of arthritis marked by high levels of uric acid in the blood. It causes joint pain and may increase the risk of kidney stones. To prevent gout, choose:



  • Foods rich in the compound “purine”, such as:

               Fish: anchovies, sardines, herring, trout, salmon


               Organ meats


               Dried porcini mushrooms.  

  • Red meat (beef, pork, lamb) by limiting serving size to 75 g (2.5 oz).
  • Alcohol, especially beer – no more than one drink per day.

4. Osteoporosis and older men

A disease marked by weak, thinning bones and decreased bone mass. Many people think of it as a “women’s disease”, but it occurs in men too. To help prevent osteoporosis, choose:


  • Calcium and vitamin D.
  • Exercise - to keep bones strong.
  • Vitamin B12 supplements, if your B12 status is low (talk to your doctor).


  • Alcohol. Limit to two drinks per day.
  • Salty foods. Limit sodium to less than 1500 mg/day.

To stay healthy you need to make choices based on Canada’s Food Guide. Go for lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, low-fat dairy and plenty of high fibre meat alternatives such as beans and lentils.

By making healthy food choices, being physically active and not smoking, you can prevent many chronic diseases and live well for longer.  

For more information on aging well:

Older Adults Eating Well

Last Update – February 14, 2019

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