While we hear a lot about women's health, men's health matters too! Men are less likely to visit their doctor for regular checkups and, on average, men have shorter life spans compared women.
An important factor that influences health is of course nutrition. Since men are generally larger in bone structure and muscle mass, men need more calories compared to women. While men need more calories, they need to be sure the calories are coming from nutrient dense foods that promote health.
Here are the recommendations for Men's Nutrition from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
- Men should consume at least 2 cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables each day for vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. Try to fill half of your plates with fruits and veggies as and easy way to eat these amounts without measuring.
- Men should choose whole grains more often and replace refined grains with whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereal, whole-grain pasta, brown rice and oats.
- Men should consume at least two to three servings of fish per week. Salmon and tuna pouches are two of the better options especially when inland, limited on time to spend cooking, or on a budget.
- Men should choose lean meats including skinless poultry, trimmed pork chops and tenderloin, and beef sirloin, round, and 93% lean ground. Men are typically more of 'meat eaters' compared to women since eating meat is associated with muscle mass and masculinity. Since excessive meat consumption is linked to heart disease and some cancers, it is important for men to choose lean meats and balance their plates by including fruits and veggies!
- Men should consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day for younger men; 30 grams of fiber per day for men older than 50. Fiber promotes heart health and gut health while also reducing cancer risk. Choose fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, and seeds for more fiber! Among the highest fiber fruits are berries and are a popular choice. This week, we have Blackberries, Blueberries or Driscoll's Raspberries (6 ounces) for buy 2, get 3 free! You can 'mix and match' the type of berries and still get three free! Berries are great with cereal, in smoothies, as a side or snack, and even for dessert! Adding berries to your meals and snacks is a delicious and easy way to get more fiber!
- Men should choose unsaturated fats such as canola and olive oils, nuts and olive oil-based salad dressings in place of saturated fats such as butter.
- Men should consume two to three servings of low fat dairy each day including 1% or skim milk, light yogurt, and cheese.
- Men should consume 3,400 milligrams a day of potassium from fruits, vegetables, fish and milk.
In addition to these nutrition recommendations, it is important for men to be physically active for 30 minutes five days a week and avoid tobacco use. If men choose to consume alcohol, they should consume not more than 2 drinks per day. One drink is considered: 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
While nutrition and physical activity play important roles in health, it is still important for me to attend regular physicals and doctor visits. There are some aspects to health that we cannot control and regular check-up play an important part in keeping us well and catching anything that may be amiss before it becomes more serious. Be sure to visit the doctor and stop at our store on your way home to pick up a cart full of nutritious groceries!
This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Stephanie Edson - Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.