In an interesting research at the Harvard School of Public Health, it is found that men and women owing to their different body structure, functions, composition, and function do not share the same dietary needs. Also, the study has suggested different patterns of food intake for both the sexes.
The study also discussed the reasons for these different dietary needs. Such as men tends to have 40 percent more muscle mass and larger frames than women and with a better digestive system can afford to have more but small portions of the meal in a day.
Women, on the other hand, might restrict their meal to twice a day with recommended high intakes of fiber owing to a different mechanism of the digestive system. The sex hormone in females affects the squeezing actions of the intestines thus causing the stomach to empty more slowly while making them more prone to constipation than men.
With this high tendency towards constipation women are highly recommended to have breakfast. Breakfast triggers the reflexive actions in the intestine called the gastro-colonic response which is active in the morning, causing the stomach to empty. Missing breakfast means women may miss out this opportunity.
Similarly, with the slow mechanism of the digestive system in women, fatty acids delay the stomach emptying, therefore, they are recommended not to keep them on high-fat meals.
Again in the study, women are recommended to keep their alcohol intake low. The recommended intake is 7 glasses of alcohol for females and up to 14 glasses for men per week. Consuming high amount of alcohol may put the women on higher risks of alcohol-related stomach and liver problems.
The stomach and liver of the men produce five times more enzyme (alcohol dehydrogenase) to break down alcohol before it enters in the blood. Hence it may explain the reason women being drunk than men for the same amount of alcohol consumption.
When it comes to intakes of minerals and vitamins, here also the requirements differ in both sexes. Zinc, which is vital for the cell division, healing purpose, and healthy immune system, is needed in more quantity by men than women.
Women are required to have 7mg a day, whereas men are advised to keep the daily intake up to 9.5 mg. This is because Zinc is needed to develop the healthy reproductive system in men. Zinc can be easily found in high protein foods such as shellfish, nuts, oysters and few green vegetables.
Similarly, calcium, on the other hand, is required in higher quantity in men than women. The research explains that females at the time of birth have lesser bone density than men and tend to loose more quickly when they age. The condition becomes riskier after the menopause since women lose the protective layer of estrogen, vital for bone health and are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Men need more calories to maintain weight and according to the NHS, the daily recommended the daily recommended calorie intake for men is 2500 with women on average needs 2000. Women, however, in the phase of pregnancy and breastfeeding may experience a change in their daily dietary needs.
While women being more chocolate cravers, the study has just recommended 30 g of intake in women per week which are way less than men. Chocolates are found to have profound health benefits in men. They are recommended to have six times a week since it is said that, high to the medium intake of chocolates in men cuts the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, the most common problem of heart rhythm problem by fifth.
However dietician Helen Bond said, further research and investigation is required to design a more comprehensive dietary plan for both the sexes.