Men often get forgotten in the world of health and nutrition. Healthy food choices are just as important for men as they are for women and children. Food helps fuel the body, fight against chronic disease, and helps you feel your very best! In honor of Father’s Day, here are 8 healthy eating tips for men.
Men tend to have more muscle than women do, so they require more calories than women. The amount of calories that men need can be anywhere between 2000-2800 calories depending on age, height, weight, and activity level. In some cases calorie requirements may be less than 2000 calories a day.
Most men have the perception that more protein is better because it leads to more muscle. Because of this, men tend to eat more meat. However, protein still contains calories, so unless the additional calories are utilized through increased activity the excess calories will turn into fat. Eating a lot of meat is also linked with heart disease, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer. Instead of eating more meat for your source of protein, try plant-based protein sources from beans, lentils, tempeh, and tofu.
Serve fish at meals 2-3 times per week. Salmon, seabass, shrimp, trout, and mackerel are all great sources of omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for heart health. Fish is also a great source of lean protein.
Include unsaturated fat into your diet by eating more oils, nuts, and seeds.
Eat a minimum of 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables contain several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that help reduce the risk of developing chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Make at least half of your grains whole grains. Replace white rice with brown rice, use whole wheat noodles, make sandwiches with whole grain bread, or make oatmeal for breakfast. Whole grains are packed full of fiber which will help keep you feeling full.
Speaking of fiber, it is recommended that men younger than 50 get in a minimum of 38 grams of fiber each day and men older than 50 get in 30 grams of fiber. Fiber helps improve digestion, may decrease risk or help manage chronic disease, and may help with weight management.
Incorporate 3400 mg of potassium into your day from fruits, vegetables, fish, and milk. Potassium is important for heart health and bone and muscle maintenance.
As always, no healthy lifestyle is complete without at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Physical activity will help maintain muscle mass, decrease risk or help manage chronic disease, and help you feel great!