How to Improve Men’s Diet
Men’s nutrition needs differ with age. It is important to understand these differences and design an eating pattern that suits them.
A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It can also improve libido and protect against prostate cancer. The key is to choose nutrient-rich foods, limit high-fat and sugary foods and increase physical activity.
1. Cut down on salts
Salty foods are a major source of sodium in our diets, and it’s not just the shaker on your table. Nearly all processed, ready-made convenience foods contain salt to keep them fresh and tasty, and many restaurants add salt to make food taste more appealing. Three-quarters of our salt intake is hidden in these products, so check the food labels on pre-packed foods and choose those with less salt per 100g – those are marked ‘low salt’.
Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, eat more fresh whole foods like salads and vegetables. Tomatoes and yoghurt are particularly good choices as they provide vitamin C, which helps cut back on the effects of salt and are rich in potassium, which counteracts the negative effect of sodium on blood pressure. Eating more of these fruits and vegetables will also increase your intake of essential nutrients, such as selenium, which is linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer and vitamin A, which has been shown to reduce the risk of lung disease. Adding salsa to a burrito and using tomato sauce on pasta are also ways of getting more lycopene, which is thought to help fight certain cancers, in your diet.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy life. They are a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals and can help reduce your calorie intake. Try to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, including leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, tomatoes, bananas, squash and berries. Choose foods that are rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron and fibre. These nutrients are important for promoting healthy skin, boosting the immune system and maintaining a healthy weight.
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Choosing a healthy diet includes eating a wide range of foods that are rich in protein and antioxidants, as well as low-fat dairy and whole grains. It should include plenty of fruit and vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange varieties and beans and peas. Add to this lean protein sources like poultry, fish and nuts and seeds.
A diet high in soluble fibre can help prevent constipation and other digestive problems. In addition, a high-protein diet may help promote weight loss by increasing the feeling of fullness and reducing appetite. This is because proteins take more energy to digest than carbohydrates and fats. They also stimulate the release of hormones that increase satiety.
3. Eat more whole grains
There is no one size fits all diet for men because men have different palates, cultural influences and eating experiences. However, several expert-backed eating patterns can promote weight loss for men while also improving overall health.
The best way to start is to add more whole grains to your diet. These are foods that have been processed less than refined, and they contain important nutrients such as fibre, iron, folate, magnesium and potassium. Try adding oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, barley, millet and wheat bread to your meals.
Next, eat more fruits and vegetables. This is an easy way to improve your diet, and it will help you feel more energized throughout the day. Some examples of these foods include blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, kiwi and bananas. You can also try dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, spinach and chard. Try to have two or three servings of these foods every day.
Finally, eat more fish and other lean proteins. These are excellent sources of protein and also contain healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and boost libido. Fish and other lean proteins are also high in folate, which can lower levels of homocysteine, a compound that encourages plaque to build up in arteries.
It is also important to drink plenty of water and limit caffeinated beverages. This can help prevent dehydration and headaches. It is also helpful to eat more foods that are naturally low in salt and added sugars, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Men who exercise regularly also reap a variety of health benefits, including boosting mood, reducing stress, strengthening bones and muscles, lowering blood pressure, and enhancing immune system function.
4. Eat more fish
Men’s health is directly linked to the food they eat. The right types of nutrients are vital to prevent disease and maintain a healthy body weight. Unlike women, men have unique nutritional needs based on their age and gender. This means they need to know which foods are best for their bodies and how much to eat.
Whether you are young or old, eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The key is to eat a variety of whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, nuts, seeds and beans. Limiting salt and avoiding trans fats and added sugars are also important.
Many experts recommend a high-protein diet for men. This is because protein has been shown to promote a reduction in body fat through mechanisms related to the thermic effect of feeding and satiety. Getting plenty of exercise and drinking enough water is also beneficial for men’s health.
Some foods are specific to men’s health, such as oysters, which can deliver a full day’s supply of zinc, which can protect against prostate cancer and boost libido. Also, a balanced diet that includes whole grains and legumes can boost testosterone levels in men and reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. Men’s health is also improved by avoiding certain foods, such as processed foods, which are linked to obesity and disease. The good news is, that with a few simple changes, men can improve their diet and live longer, healthier lives.
5. Eat less meat
There will never be a men’s health diet plan that fits everyone because we all have different palates, cultural influences, eating experiences and possible dietary restrictions or conditions. But following the basic healthy nutrition tips of reducing salts, increasing fruit and vegetables, avoiding processed foods and drinking water is a great start.
Then focus on making nutrient-rich swaps for unhealthy meals. For example, instead of having two rashers of bacon on a breakfast sandwich, try one with sliced avocado or tomato. If you’re resistant to cutting meat out completely, begin by introducing more plant-based proteins into your meals like beans or lentils. You could also add leafy greens to your diet like kale, broccoli or spinach. These foods provide important vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are all linked to prostate health.
You should also aim to eat more oily fish like salmon, trout or sardines. These contain omega-3 fats that are linked to brain and heart health as well as immune function. Omega-3 fats are also believed to help prevent depression and may reduce your risk of stroke.
At this age, your body needs slightly fewer grains (cereal) and more dairy foods including milk, cheese, yoghurt and calcium-enriched rice milk. It’s also a good idea to cut back on ‘extras’ or sometimes foods like commercial burgers, pizza, alcohol, lollies, cakes and biscuits, fried food and sugary drinks.