May 19, 2019 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Hot Flash: I’m Over 50… Should I Change My Diet?

Over the summer, I had a horrible experience with an undiagnosed gall bladder infection that turned deadly. My eyes turned yellow, I had flu-like symptoms, broke out in a rash all over my body, and had weird bodily fluid episodes. I also had horrible back and chest aches. I went to the ED thinking I was having a heart attack or stroke.

Luckily, my primary care doctor correctly diagnosed the problem before my liver and pancreas shut down. I had surgery to have my gallbladder removed a week later, and not too soon.

Everyone says that it doesn’t make much of a difference if you don’t have a gallbladder. I beg to differ. I learned that the gallbladder is an extra filter for digestion before food is further processed via the liver. My surgeon said something about staying away from fatty foods when she spoke to me in recovery. She didn’t tell me why, though.

Soon after my recovery, I found out first hand when I had an order of sweet potato fries with my chicken Caesar salad. An hour later, I um, had to sprint to the nearest bathroom, where I promptly pooped (can I say this in writing?) everything out; um, rather quickly, if you know what I mean.

I recently went to a dietitian to help me with healthier food choices specific to my condition. I learned a lot. Here are some of the key points that everyone over 50 can use:

After 50, your body doesn’t digest food the way it did when you were younger. Your metabolism slows down, and you’re more likely to lose muscle mass and see changes in your weight. As a result, it takes a little more thought and effort to make sure you get enough nutrition and stay a healthy weight.

People over 50 need to watch their calories a bit more closely and eat less food with added sugar or a lot of solid fats, like the ones in butter or shortening. Or pizza. Or cheese. Or ice cream. Or sweet potato fries. Or any fries.

Gone are the days when I was under 100 pounds, my metabolism was in full gear and I could eat a whole medium pizza in one sitting without gaining a pound. Or getting sick.

Experts say men over 50 who are moderately active should get between 2,200 and 2,400 calories a day. For women, that number is about 1,800 calories.

So what should people over 50 eat more, or less of?

For example, you may need to eat more lean protein, get more exercise to make up for the loss of muscle mass, get some sun to replace your vitamin D, and eat more fruits and vegetables. This was what my dietitian told me I need to do.

If you’re worried about your weight, as I have been since my mid-30s, go with foods that pack a lot of nutrition without a lot of calories. These foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice, and beans and nuts. Lean meat, eggs, and seafood also fall into this category, along with low-fat milk and cheese.

I can do this! Goodbye pizza, French fries. It’s been nice knowing you.

Related Posts

Weight loss for women over 50

February 3, 2019

February 3, 2019

(It looks a little different than it does for 20-and 30-somethings) While 50 may be the new 30, there are...

Santa Monica Sees Nearly 9 Percent Spike in Part 1 Crimes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud gives crime update. By Sam Catanzaro Over the past month, Santa Monica has experienced a string...

Edify TV Video: Rent and Minimum Wage Changes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

By Edify TV More money in your pocket? For many in Los Angeles County, perhaps, under new rent control and...

Man Charged for Murdering Mother

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office files charges on Stephen Lloyd Fader. By Staff Writer The Los Angeles County District...

Fighting Fires, Tackling Homelessness, Saving Lives

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

The role of fire departments in 21st-century urban centers.  By Keldine Hull Do firefighters fight fires? Obviously, but most of...

SM City Defends Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Staff Writer Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their January 22 meeting to join an amicus brief to...

Edify TV Video: Seasonal Cheese

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Edify TV Did you know cheese can be a seasonal item? Hear from a cheesemaker at the Culver City...

SMPD Mounted Patrol Aids in Arrest

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) carried out an arrest on February 1 with the aid of horses....

MDR Oil Well Explosion Sparks Debate

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

Jan. 18 incident sheds light on the dangers of oil wells in the city. By Tor Marom Discussions on public...

Edify TV Live: Ananda Integrative Medicine

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

By Edify TV In Edify TV Live’s Westside Health Beat, hear from Dr. Reshma Patel, P.A. of Ananda Integrative Medicine...

Santa Monica Student Earns Perfect ACT Score

February 7, 2019

February 7, 2019

Gillian Varnum of Archer School scores a 36 on the ACT.  By Staff Writer  Santa Monica resident Gillian Varnum, a...

Edify TV Live: Westside Crime Update

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

By Edify TV Part 1 crimes are down in some parts of the Westside, but in certain areas, serious crimes...

Edify TV: Cannabis Industry’s Slow Start

February 7, 2019

February 7, 2019

By Edify TV Recreational cannabis has been legal in Los Angeles for a year now, but the industry is not...

The Myth of “Public” Art in Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Over the past few years, the Stanton MacDonald Wright murals at the entrance to Santa Monica City Hall have stirred...

State of the City: Climate Change, Communication Among Challenges Facing Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Mayor Davis delivers annual address. By Tor Marom This past Wednesday, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce held its annual...