According to experts, nutritional needs differ between the sexes due to the amount of muscle mass, metabolic rates and reproductive functions
Experts say women should avoid large amounts of carbohydrates. Men have a greater need for zinc.
Despite having 95.5% similarity in DNA, from a nutritional point of view, the differences between the sexes can be explained by the variable metabolic rates, reproductive functions and body structures. A study by researchers at Harvard University in the United States, for example, showed men need a higher daily calorie intake .
The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) recommends, for example, eating 2,500 calories a day for men and 2,000 for women. “As we find out more about the subject, we will be able to come up with dietary recommendations tailored to the different needs of men and women ,” Helen Bond, a nutritionist and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, told the British newspaper Daily Mail .
But these differences go far beyond the amount of daily calories, according to information from the British online tabloid Daily Mail . Although researchers from Harvard Medical School recommend carbohydrate intake represents between 45% and 65% of calorie intake, for both men and women, women should avoid consuming high amounts of the substance.
Previous research by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that women whose diets were rich in refined grains were 30% more likely to experience depression. The same study suggested that the greater the consumption of white pasta, the greater the changes in mood.
For Nitu Bajekal, a gynecologist at the Royal Free London hospital in the UK, this index can be explained by the effect of blood sugar on estrogen levels, which can affect mood. “This is not a fully understood area, but eating vegetables with pasta can be a strategy, since the fibers dampen the glucose response.”, Says the doctor.
Calcium and iron
So, how to ensure the necessary nutrient intake ? With regard to calcium, According to the NHS, men and women should consume 700 milligrams of the mineral daily. However, in the menopause phase , women should increase their intake to 1,200 milligrams per day, due to a lack of estrogen and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Higher cheese consumption may indicate this benefit.
Before menopause, according to the researchers, women also need to increase their iron intake, because during each menstrual period a certain amount of the nutrient is lost.
Men, on the other hand, can benefit from consuming chocolate . Researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland found that dark chocolate improves blood quality in both sexes. However, in men this effect is even greater.
After eating a chocolate, with a minimum of 70% cocoa, there is an improvement in the functioning of platelets, responsible for blood clotting and reducing the risk of strokes.
The consumption of foods rich in zinc , such as seafood, is essential for them. While the daily recommendation of the mineral for women is 7 milligrams, for men it is 9.5 milligrams. That’s because zinc contributes to healthy sperm production , in addition to improving the immune system and cell function. “It’s easy to get good amounts of zinc from foods like seeds, nuts, shellfish and oysters,” said Helen.
The consumption limit of alcoholic beverages is another differential point between men and women. For both genders, low consumption is recommended to reduce the risk of heart attacks.
However, in women, moderate consumption is already enough to increase the risk of breast cancer, making the maximum recommended daily amount for them to be half of them, which is one to two doses.
Dietary and nutritional advice is based not only on gender differences , but also on average body size. That is, although the average muscle mass in men is 30% to 40% higher than for women, this will vary from person to person, which means that the recommendations are not necessarily for everyone.
A balanced diet , rich in minerals and vitamins, is essential for both men and women, but it is important to consider the different requirements of metabolism to maintain a healthy lifestyle.