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Do Men and Women Have Different Dietary Requirements?

Posted Mar 25 2010 4:34pm

There are some differences in what a man and a woman need to meet daily nutritional requirements.  A recent article in Harvard Men’s Health Watch publication in which health experts warn that the nutritional needs of the sexes do differ. These are not tremendous differences but they are still differences in what each sex should include to have a truly optimal diet. The answer is yes, men and women do have different dietary requirements.

do men and women have different dietary requirements

Men and Women Have Different Dietary Requirements of Calcium

Both men and women need calcium in their daily dietary requirements.  Women do require more calcium than men. Calcium is an essential nutrient for building and maintaining strong bones, teeth and it helps to maintain our blood pressure.

Women require more calcium due to their increased risk of osteoporosis. If enough calcium is not consumed by the foods in a woman’s diet she is usually encouraged by her doctor to take calcium supplements. If men get too much calcium they increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Men and Women Have Different Dietary Requirements of Fats

Monounsaturated fats are reported to be healthy for both men and women.  In regards to omega 3 fatty acids there is a difference however. The same amounts of omega 3 fatty acids can give beneficial results in both genders but the difference is in what types or how we receive them.  Omega 3 fatty acid that is in canola and flaxseed is not as recommended for men. This type of omega 3 is called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid.  ALA is thought to increase the risk of prostate cancer.  It is recommended that men receive their monounsaturated fat from olive oil and omega 3 from fish.

Men and Women Have Different Dietary Requirements of Iron

Iron works differently on men and women.  It is another essential mineral necessary to good health.  Both men and women require iron to keep the blood healthy.  Not enough iron in either gender can lead to anemia.

Scientists contend that men do not require the same amounts of iron as women and should avoid getting too much iron.  Researchers say that excessive iron in men can cause harmful mineral deposits in the organs of men.

Women require more iron due to menstruation and hormones.  Because of these issues women are more at risk for low iron levels and they may even need supplementation of dietary intake of iron with iron supplements to meet the daily requirements necessary for good health. During pregnancy women require even more iron to aid in normal development of the fetus.

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