3 Diet Tips for Men’s Health Month
June 11, 2013
Culinary Nutritionist Jason Lau, R.D., shares some of his favorite health tips as we focus on Men's Health Month.
As we all know, food can provide us with energy. However, with the right diet, it can also help you fight certain diseases. Here are some nutrition tips for you to share with your father, brother or husband during Men’s Health Week:
1. Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the top 3 killers in the United States within the male population (and the female population as well!). In order to help reduce the risk for any cardiovascular disease, every male should follow a balanced diet and think beyond protein: it's OK for you to order steak once in a while, but is unhealthy if you are omitting whole grains and vegetables from your diet.
Whole grains will help you increase fiber in your diet and are shown to reduce cholesterol. Moreover, whole grain products contain other nutrients that will regulate your blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart. Try intact grains such as quinoa and farro and incorporate more whole grain pastas, breads and cereals in to your daily diet. Also, numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are linked to better cardiovascular health, which can be found in seafood as well as nuts and seeds like walnuts and chia seeds. Next time, try adding these to your salad or breakfast.
To get more omega-3s in to your diet, try these nutritious and delicious recipes using chia seeds.
2. Colorectal Cancer
Men are more prone than women to colorectal cancer based on their diet patterns since men tend to go for a more meat-based diet vs. a plant-based diet. Fruits and vegetables contain insoluble fiber that is good for our digestive tracts because it increases motility with the added bulk, thus hence reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.
The USDA recommends 35 grams of fiber per day for men but an average male consumes just 12-15 grams. However, it is not recommended to drastically increase your daily fiber intake at once, as it might cause some gastrointestinal issues. A gradual, daily increase is recommended. For more information on fiber, see this Nutrition 101 post on why our bodies need it.
3. Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men after skin cancer, and is one of the top two cancer killers in American men along with lung cancer. In fact, about one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that can be found in the pigments in tomatoes, watermelons and pink grapefruits. Some studies have shown that a diet high in lycopene is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer and therefore it is recommended for men to consume a tomato or tomato-based product once a week. Lycopene is actually more concentrated when it is cooked, for example in a tomato sauce, and is more easily absorbed when eaten with a little bit of oil as it is fat soluble.
Try out this recipe of Spicy Lobster with Pappardelle by our Senior Culinary Nutritionist Natalia Hancock that is full of fiber and lycopene, and get your father/brother/husband kickstarted on a healthy diet this weekend!
Do you have any health tips to share for Men's Health Week? Let us know in the comments section below.
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