Men and women need to nourish the body and mind according to different specific needs. Gender nutrition is an approach that takes into account the differences between the male and female body and proposes differentiated diets.
In fact, nutrition has the ability to reduce the risk of some diseases more related to one or the other kind and to improve the specific characteristics of the two bodies.
The DNA of women and men is 98.5% identical. So, as a general rule, the needs are the same when adjusted for height, weight, and level of physical activity. It is rather at the level of hormonal differences that nutritional needs differ. On both sides, hormones cause overuse of certain nutrients, which should be compensated by increased food intake. In addition, certain dietary factors can reduce the risk of certain diseases in one and not the other. So let’s take a closer look at some of these differences.
At the level of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) the needs of women are essentially identical to those of men, except for lipids (or fats). Indeed, if women and men must avoid the same “bad fats”, the needs for “good fats” differ. While women may well use plant omega-3 fats (alpha-linoleic acid) without problems, some studies suggest that these may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. Fats increase the risk of prostate cancer slightly more than saturated fats.
It is therefore important that men limit food intake. These fats are found in flaxseed and flaxseed oil, canola oil, nuts and walnut oil, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil, and soybeans and soybean oil. On the other hand, animal sources of omega-3, such as fatty fish and fish oils, are to be prized by both women and men.
Finally, some women will want to avoid soy and flax since they are sources of estrogen from bio-active plants. This is why oncologists usually recommend that women with hormone-dependent cancer (that is when gendered hormones can increase or promote the development of cancer, as is often the case with breast, uterine or ovarian cancer) avoid these foods.
They should account for about 50% of the total caloric intake. The Mediterranean diet should focus on complex ones with slow absorption to avoid glycemic peaks and not to deplete energy reserves too quickly, possibly with the addition of fibers that reduce the absorption of fats and sugars in the intestine. So the Mediterranean diet can not miss whole grains, dried fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Simple sugars can be provided by fresh fruit.
Under normal conditions, they should account for about 30% of the total daily caloric intake. But when you have to lose weight, it is good to go down to 20%. The best sources are vegetable ones (e.g. extra virgin olive oil but also walnuts or avocado), and those deriving from fish rich in omega 3 (salmon, sardines, trout, etc.). As for the other sources of animal fats, dairy products are fine but without exaggerating, so, for example, excellent whole milk yogurt or ricotta of sheep, cow, or goat, eggs, and butter in small quantities.
Contrary to popular belief, a man’s daily protein requirement is not so different from that of a woman if she does not practice intense physical activity. We are in the order of 15% of the total caloric intake. The best sources? Legumes, white meats, eggs, and fresh fish. For vegans excellent all gluten derivatives such as seitan, but also quinoa and amaranth (very energetic and protein pseudocereals) while yellow traffic light for soy and derivatives, which is predisposed men could increase the risk of prostate cancer after 50 years.
Men And Women Burn Different Amounts Of Calories
Daily caloric expenditure is determined by many factors. To be able to calculate it is necessary to know:
- Body composition. This includes sex, age, weight, height, amount of muscle mass, and fat mass. In some cases also the state of health.
- Physical activity. How much exercise is done per day and of what type?
- Lifestyle and habits. Sedentary or active; with or without children; daily activities, schedules, tastes, etc.
Once all this information is known, you can calculate how many calories are expended per day and therefore how many need to be consumed. Usually, the amount is not the same.
To Live Without Hunger, But Not To Gain Weight
There is nothing worse than being hungry. In fact, a correct eating plan is one that provides everything you need and keeps you satisfied during the day, without excessive cravings, anxiety, or a bad mood.
Thinking about reaching this ideal state, take note of the recommendations we have for you. They are designed so that you do not go hungry, but do not gain weight either:
- Make sure you consume the right amount of calories every day. You know this from a 100% personalized calculation that must be done by a specialist.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and enough fruits. With this, you guarantee your daily requirement of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So the body feels nourished and will not ask you for more food.
- Drink plenty of water, but water alone. No fruit, no taste, no soda… The amount you need is determined by calories consumed, physical activity, and weather.
- Make sure your diet includes all food groups: cereals, proteins, and fats. All in the right amount for you. You should not eat too much, but you should not miss it either.
So To Summarise This
The answer is: probably not. Genetically men and women are different and so is their body composition. If we take this into account, then the diet they should consume will be as well.
Men, thanks to testosterone, have more muscle mass. Women, on the other hand, need more fat so that estrogens are at normal levels. That is, men genetically build muscle and women store fat, so they should have between 10 and 20% fat mass and they between 18 and 28%, which is normal.