What Men Should Know to Stay Healthy

June is National Men’s Health month! Many men eat healthfully, exercise routinely and get regular check-ups, but those who don’t have a higher risk of developing chronic disease. It’s important for boys and men of all ages to seek medical care and early treatment for illness, injury and disease. 

Nutrition plays a key role in overall wellness and prevention of disease. Whether you’re a man looking to start or continue your healthful path or a woman supporting the health of the men you love, the following tips are sure to help in your journey to wellness.

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Balance your Plate

Your energy needs depend on your height, weight and activity level. Men who are more active require more calories than those who are less active throughout the day. For optimal energy, weight management and disease prevention, men should eat whole grains such as whole-grain bread, pasta, cereal, brown rice, oats, barley, fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in fiber, help manage hunger and fullness and help fend off certain cancers, such as prostate and colon.

Take Nutrition to Heart

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is a leading cause of death for men. The amount and kind of fat you eat makes a difference. Research shows eating too much saturated fat is not good for the heart. Foods made from animal products such as bacon, red meat, butter and ice cream contain saturated fat. Men can be proactive in heart health by including more omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. Omega-3 fatty-acids, a type of unsaturated fat, have been found to be helpful in preventing sudden death from heart attacks. Foods containing these healthy fats include fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring as well as walnuts and flaxseed. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times (two servings) a week.

Watch your Weight

More than women, men gain weight around the middle—that is related to the male hormone testosterone. This fat around the waist is associated with an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and even dementia. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. A BMI of 25 or greater may mean it’s time to make changes to diet and exercise to help you reach a healthy weight. 

Since men tend to have more muscle and are typically larger in size than women, they often require more calories throughout the day. In general, moderately active males should eat 2,000 to 2,800 calories per day. Your energy needs depend on your height, weight and activity level. A Registered Dietitian can help provide you with personalized information on BMI, daily caloric needs and overall nutrition.

This blog post was written by Molly Ault, an outpatient clinical dietitian at Eskenazi Health Center Grassy Creek.