If you’re like many men, you probably feel overwhelmed with health information you see on the internet or hear about from friends, which makes weight loss or maintaining lean muscle challenging. Knowing more about the top health myths for men over 40 is the first step in your journey toward better health and wellness!
- 1 Myth #1 Men Don’t Get Breast Cancer
- 2 Myth #2 Sexual Dysfunction Only Happens in Older Men
- 3 #3 More Protein is Better
- 4 #4 Suicide Attempts are More Common in Men
- 5 #5 You Have to Work Out to Lose Weight
- 6 #6 Alzheimer’s Disease Only Affects Older Men
- 7 #7 Weight Gain After 40 is Inevitable
- 8 #8 Osteoporosis is Only a Concern for Women
- 9 #9 Prostate Cancer is the #1 Cancer Killer in Men
- 10 #10 Eating Before Bed Makes You Fat
Myth #1 Men Don’t Get Breast Cancer
A common health myth for men over 40 is that men don’t get breast cancer. While rare, there are 390 breast cancer diagnoses in men each year in the UK. Breast cancer in men might appear as a hard lump underneath the nipple, oozing from the nipple, breast swelling, or lumps under the arm.
Because breast cancer awareness in men is uncommon, men are less likely to check for lumps in breast tissue or seek treatment. If you notice a lump or other abnormality in breast tissue, check in with your doctor right away.
Myth #2 Sexual Dysfunction Only Happens in Older Men
Sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction and low libido, happens in men of all ages – even in men younger than 40. Mild to moderate erectile dysfunction affects about 10% of men per decade of life – that is about 30% of men in their 30s, 40% of men in their 40s, 50% of men in their 50s, and 60% of men in their 60s.
Causes of sexual dysfunction include low testosterone, taking certain medications, nerve damage from diabetes, smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, high blood pressure, blood vessel disorders, depression, stress, and anxiety. Your doctor can treat many conditions that contribute to sexual dysfunction, so don’t live with it when you don’t have to.
#3 More Protein is Better
A popular health myth for men over 40 is that more protein is better. Protein is a key nutrient that helps you feel full, gives your metabolism a boost, and allows you to maintain lean body mass – even when you’re losing weight. But more protein isn’t always better because your body can only metabolize and use a certain amount at a time. What happens to excess protein you ingest that your body can’t use? You excrete much of it.
It’s best to get a good balance of fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, and heart-healthy fats at each meal. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends Consuming 20-40 grams of protein per meal to optimize muscle building.
#4 Suicide Attempts are More Common in Men
Men are more likely to die by suicide than women. In fact in the UK, men accounted for three-fourths of suicide deaths in 2018. However, women are more likely to attempt suicide – almost twice as likely, in fact.
If you suffer from depression or have thoughts of harming yourself, seek help from a doctor or mental health professional right away. Depression is a serious medical condition and life-threatening in some cases.
#5 You Have to Work Out to Lose Weight
Weight loss can happen even if you don’t exercise, as your calorie intake is what determines how much weight you lose. However, exercise provides endless benefits for your health, body composition, and physique. It’s the only way to develop muscle and maintain it. If you’re in a rut trying to lose weight, start by focusing on diet.
But combining diet with exercise gives you the best overall results and helps you keep lost weight off for life. Try the Fitter Healthier Dad program to receive a custom diet and exercise plan that yields real results.
#6 Alzheimer’s Disease Only Affects Older Men
Alzheimer’s disease a common type of dementia in the UK. But it doesn’t just happen to elderly men. In fact, while Alzheimer’s disease affects 1 in 14 people over age 65 and 1 in 6 people over age 80, the disease occurs in 1 in 20 people ages 40-65.
Early Alzheimer’s disease is also referred to as early-onset or young-onset Alzheimer’s disease. If you or a loved one experience changes in memory or thinking patterns, seek help from a medical professional.
There are numerous ways to improve overall health and wellness, which might reduce your risk or delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Examples include not smoking, control chronic disease risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.), eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, use cognitive thinking skills regularly, reduce stress, and get plenty of regular exercise and sleep.
#7 Weight Gain After 40 is Inevitable
Your risk of weight gain after 40 does increase due to a slower metabolism and hormone changes associated with aging. But weight gain after 40 isn’t inevitable with the right nutritious diet and exercise program, such as Fitter Healthier Dad. Sometimes having motivational support, structure, and direction is all it takes to get the excess weight off.
Have your doctor check your hormone levels and if you have low testosterone, consider hormone replacement therapy if you’re a good candidate for it. Doing so can enhance muscle building or muscle maintenance.
#8 Osteoporosis is Only a Concern for Women
Osteoporosis is more common among women, but it’s concern for men, too. As a man your lifetime risk of osteoporosis-related fractures after age 50 is 27%. But there are numerous ways you can lower your risk of low bone density and osteoporosis.
Examples include get plenty of calcium and vitamin D from foods and supplements, eat a well-balanced diet, get regular exercise, don’t smoke, and limit alcohol to less than 2-3 drinks per day. Get screened for osteoporosis. If you have it, your doctor can prescribe medications to delay disease progression and reduce your risk of fractures.
#9 Prostate Cancer is the #1 Cancer Killer in Men
Another common health myth for men over 40 is that prostate cancer is the #1 cancer killer among men. Prostate cancer is a concern for men, but it isn’t the most common cause of cancer deaths– lung cancer is.
Prostate cancer accounts for about 11,500 cancer deaths in the UK every year, or about 31 daily. In comparison, each year 35,600 lung cancer deaths (about 98 per day) happen in the UK. Not smoking is the best way prevent lung cancer from occurring.
#10 Eating Before Bed Makes You Fat
It’s true that binge eating at night can pack on unwanted pounds, but eating before bed doesn’t necessarily make you fat. In fact, the ISSN reports that ingesting 30-40 grams of casein protein before bed helps increase muscle synthesis overnight and improve your metabolic rate without increasing fat storage.
Furthermore, going to bed hungry can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, and studies show that chronic sleep deprivation increase your risk of obesity. But don’t force yourself to eat something before bed if you’re not hungry. Let your hunger cues guide you, and don’t fall for the top health myth for men over 40 that eating before bed makes you fat.
For additional diet and exercise tips to help you achieve the muscular physique of your dreams over 40, sign up for the Fitter Healthier Dad free 5-day food and fitness challenge today!