Battle of the sexes: should your diet be different?

The way you eat could be determined by your gender safari attachments. According to research, a man’s nutritional needs vary from a woman’s – and age and lifestyle also play roles. When you’re younger, you can process calories more efficiently. As you get older, it’s not that easy!

Both genders will have slight differences in nutritional needs for many reasons. During pregnancy and lactation, the amount of energy a woman needs, increases. As too does the necessity of certain vitamins and minerals to support mom and baby.

Following menopause, older women have a greater risk for osteoporosis and need to pay closer attention to calcium and Vitamin D intake.


Men typically weigh more than women do, and so their caloric intake is normally much higher. However, regardless of gender, if you want to maintain or lose weight, you must burn more calories than you take in. Also, women tend to be smaller than men and carry less muscle mass than men, and their calorie needs will generally be lower.


The human body doesn’t need more than 60 grams of protein per day. Too much protein in your diet can lead to calcium loss and osteoporosis in women. This may also result in a greater risk of kidney stones in men. For more protein in your diet, consider adding fish, low-fat dairy products or eggs. Eating most of your protein at night can help repair muscle while you sleep. Protein requirements for men and women are essentially the same.


When it comes to carbohydrates, it’s important to fuel your diet with whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. You need good carbs to function at your best, no matter your gender. Carbohydrates are also high in fibre. To prevent colon cancer and heart diseases, it’s recommended that men have a higher fibre intake. Be mindful of simple carbs in the form of processed and refined sugars. They don’t give you much in the way of long-term energy.

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Fatty fish like tuna and salmon are great for men and women, giving you a heart-healthy dose of Omega-3. But, some fats are worse than others. The alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found in vegetable oils like canola and flaxseed may contribute to prostate cancer and should be avoided by men.

The main differences

Although both men and women essentially need the same nutrients and avoid the same unhealthy food, women will benefit specifically from eating foods that are rich in iron, more so when menstruating. Get your fill of iron from fish, meat, poultry and spinach. For better iron absorption, pair your foods with Vitamin C, like orange juice or a few orange slices. Calcium is important for ageing women as it helps lower the risk of osteoporosis. If you’re not a fan of milk products, you can get calcium through dark leafy vegetables, and plant-based sources like soy, rice or almond milk.

Men, on the other hand, need to eat more foods that contain lycopene for good prostate health. You can find lycopene in tomatoes, carrots, leafy greens and watermelons. For younger active men, get enough protein for muscle building.