Family, career and favorite sporting teams often rank high on the list of priorities in men’s life but in doing so, they often overlook their own health. The choices they make now can affect health and well-being in the years to come, so it is important to establish a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating habits today. Busy schedules and new environments can lead to unhealthful eating habits such as skipping meals or snacks, eating nothing but fast food, overeating, and drinking excessive amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages or alcohol. Along with inconsistent eating patterns, young men may experience weight gain or a lack of energy.
In fact, men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year, but they are 28 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure and 32 percent more likely than women to be hospitalized for long-term complications of diabetes, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
With numbers like this, men have some unique health needs and Nutrition is key in helping men of all ages live healthier, fuller lives. Being healthy is not based on just being absent from disease but also being mentally, socially, physically and spiritually healthy, where diet plays 80 percent of the role. So here are a few pointers which men’s should keep in mind so as to lead a better and healthy life.
- Eat breakfast every day: The first meal you eat in the morning truly “breaks the fast” and gets your metabolism moving for the day. Don’t skip it!
- Intake of snacks: A mid morning and mid afternoon snack will help you avoid overeating at meals and alleviate energy lows throughout the day (roasted seeds, roasted makhanas etc.)
- Good protein: Protein promotes muscle growth and overall health and dietary protein is the most important factor in preventing and reversing the excessive loss of lean muscle mass.(A 2013 Abbott-supported study shows that HMB can help older adults prevent muscle loss when on periods of bed rest lasting up to 10 days (HMB is a protein-related compound that encourages your muscles to use the protein you eat more efficiently). So introduce complete protein sources including fish, lean meats, seeds , eggs and dairy etc. into diet which will keep blood sugar levels optimum and will make you crave lesser for sweets.
- Get more Vitamins C and E- Heart disease is the number-one disease affecting men—According to a 2015 meta-analysis in the British Journal of Nutrition, consuming healthful nutrients, including vitamins C and E (two of the most potent antioxidants), can help lower levels of inflammation and oxidative stress to help reduce wear and tear on your coronary arteries (walnuts, oranges, grapefruit and leafy greens, citric fruits).
- Cut down on saturated fat and add healthy fat– Reduce intake of biscuits, cakes, pies, pastries, chocolate and cream and eat healthy heart unsaturated oils such as rapeseed, avocados, almonds, canola oil, olive and sunflower oils and spreads made from them for cooking, salad dressings and spreading. The omega-3 fatty acids naturally found in seafoods like salmon is helping in reducing inflammation that has been linked to obesity, dementia, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. A Harvard Medical School meta-analysis shows that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week reduces the risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent.
- Limit intake of refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates such as white breads, muffins, pastries anything made with flour will spike the blood glucose instantly leading to weight gain.Opting for more whole grains is key for managing weight, reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and even supporting brain function. Insulin resistance, which results in excess sugar in the blood, my increase the brain’s levels of inflammation and potentially contribute to the injury of blood vessels within the brain. Damage to those blood vessels is an important contributor to cognitive loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Check your vitamin D levels– Vitamin D aids in both muscle and bone health to keep strong through the years. It also promotes a healthy immune system, being insufficient in this vitamin D can compromise immune. Our tip to you: Get checked it today! Vitamin D is a silent epidemic with symptoms being so unambiguous that it very easily goes unchecked.
- Calcium- Young men need 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day for bone and tooth health. Young men do prior to age 30 is crucial to having healthy bones for life. Food is the best source of calcium. Aim for three servings of low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt or cheese every day but source it right like A2 milk.
- Eat vegetables and fruit- Making healthful choices to fuel a young, active mind and body starts with balance. By eating well now, you can lessen risk of health-related problems later.
- Iron-rich foods- Iron is important for energy. You likely can get enough iron by eating iron-fortified cereal, leafy greens , spinach, pumpkin seeds, quinoa etc.
- Zinc rich foods- Zinc as this nutrient plays an important role in sperm and semen production, or male fertility so introduce seeds, nuts , dairy products, eggs whole grains , chick peas, mushrooms etc.).
- Exercise: Includesome form of exercise daily:Exercising for 180 mins/week can help to reduce insulin resistance, especially when coupled with a limited intake of refined carbohydrates. For e.g. Yoga, swimming are some of the best form of exercises. To build muscle, strength train with weights or resistance bands at least two to three times a week. Our tip to you: If you are trying to lose weight, more exercise DOES NOT mean more exercise…it means looking smartly at your food choices, your alcohol intake, your sleep, your stress levels, your sugar and the consistency of your exercise program.
- Don’t go overboard with healthy foods- While we all got aware and conscious about the health some started overdoing nutrition. While fiber is good for health but having in excess leads to bloating, and prevents the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. proteins being good for increasing muscle mass and optimum functioning of hormones, having too much can put a load on the kidney, nuts and seeds has anti-ageing properties, prevents atherosclerosis but in excess it can increase ones cholesterol levels.
People refer to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, but there are no good and bad foods, only good diets and bad diets. Eating a variety of food from the core food groups, in the right balance, is what healthy eating is all about.