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With each decade that passes, your food choices and dietary habits may need a little adjusting.
Whether you’re 20 years old or 70 years old, the basics of maintaining a healthy diet apply. Keep your proteins lean, focus on healthy carbohydrates (such as colorful fruits and veggies, and whole grains), and eat moderate amounts of healthy fats from foods such as nuts, avocado, olive oil and fatty fish. With each passing decade, there are some areas of your diet that may need some attention. There are subtle shifts in nutrient and calorie needs, and your eating and activity patterns are often influenced by the demands of your daily life. So, here is your decade-by-decade guide to healthy eating.
How to Eat in Your 20s
For many, this is the decade when the transition is made from college to career. Eating (and drinking) habits in your early 20s may not be the best. As you transition into a regular work schedule, you might carry some of those habits with you. Working life often features more meals out, coffee breaks with colleagues and happy hours after work—all of which can impact your diet.
How to Eat in Your 30s
The decade between the ages of 30 and 40 can be crazy busy. For many, this is the decade where you’re juggling a career and parenthood, and taking care of yourself may not be high priority. Making time to eat balanced meals, get enough sleep and finding time to exercise can be especially challenging. And your weight might start to creep up.
How to Eat in Your 40s
Life in your 40s may have a more manageable rhythm to it, but it’s also easy to get complacent with your diet and activity level. Even though you may have more time to exercise, you may not make it a priority.
How to Eat in Your 50s and Beyond
Keeping your weight in check is important at any age, but it can become more challenging in your 50s and beyond. As muscle mass naturally declines with age, it brings with it a drop in your daily calorie requirements. If you don’t adjust your intake accordingly, your weight can really creep up. For women, this is the decade that can bring the changes associated with menopause—including weight gain around the midsection, mood swings and poor sleep quality.