What are the nutritional needs of men?

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Since heart disease, specific cancers, and stroke are the top three leading causes of death among American males, what men may be eating, or unfortunately, not eating enough of, may be detrimental to their long-term health.
Here are some food and diet changes that could provide some disease-fighting, health benefit to all men, no matter what the age.

Heart Disease Fighting Strategies:     

One of the American Heart Association’s top diet strategies to beat heart disease is to eat two fish (preferably oily fish) meals (3.5 ounces each) weekly to reduce the risk of heart disease. Fish is not only low in heart-unhealthy saturated fat but also provides heart-healthy, omega 3 fatty acids. Research shows that these fatty acids may prevent irregular heart-beats, reduce atherosclerosis, and mildly lower blood pressure. Americans are currently consuming only about 0.1 to 0.2 grams of omega 3s daily, on average, as compared to the 0.5 grams recommended a day. Two fish meals a week will not only meet this daily recommendation but also displace saturated-fat laden protein-rich food, such as hot dogs, regular ground beef, and fried chicken on the plate.

Cancer Fighting Strategies:

With prostate cancer being the second leading cause of cancer death among American males, the photochemical, lycopene, may be one of best disease-fighting compounds on the plate. Research suggests that lycopene found in tomatoes and tomato products may help prevent prostate cancer. Cooking the tomatoes as well as serving them with a tad of oil has also shown to enhance the body’s absorption of this photochemical. Watermelon, pink grapefruit, and guava are other delicious food sources of lycopene.

Stroke-Fighting Strategies:

While limiting the sodium in the diet is important to lower high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke, eating more potassium-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables can also lower blood pressure. Unfortunately, many Americans are falling short of the amount of potassium recommended daily as most are not eating the minimum recommended 4.5 cups of fruits and veggies a day.
Nutritional needs for me are based on their goals and their needs. I will cover each below in bullet points.
  • It is first and foremost important to see what a person's vision is by identifying clear goals. How much weight is someone looking to lose, is athletic performance a consideration? If weight loss is the goal then we need to figure out how much weight does that person want to lose in a week. For argument sake lets say 1 lb per week, that comes out to a 500 caloric deficit per day.
  • Next we need to look at the need. We need to figure out how many calories the man is going to expend or burn in a day. We can test how many calories they are currently burning and then look at how many calories they burn as soon as their exercise is going to increase. So, they may only expend 2500 calories right now because they are not that active and then when they begin a exercise program they may start burning 3000 calories in a day.
  • Once we figure out how many calories they burn then we know how many calories they have to take in. If they are trying to lose 1 lb per week and they are burning 3000 calories per day then they need to take in 2500 calories per day.
  • After this then we need to look at the ratio of calories and generally around 50% of their calories should come from carbs, 25% of their calories coming from protein and 25% of their calories from fat. This comes out roughly to 300 grams of carbs, 150 grams protein and 60-70 grams of fat.
  • Finallly then we need to look at food choices such as whole grains, fruits, veggies, good lean proteins and other things that are natural, clean and healthy. The point is it is not just about good healthy food choices. We must have the right amount of calories and macronutrient ratios as well.
The building blocks of a healthy diet are the same for men and women: a balanced diet that is low in fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But men have specific nutritional needs as well:
  • The typical American man gets barely half the recommended amount of dietary fiber he needs. Getting enough fiber makes it less likely you will suffer from constipation, hemorrhoids and intestinal disease. Foods rich in fiber also help control blood cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk of colon cancer.
  • Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that may lower your risk of prostate cancer. Eat tomatoes or a product made from tomatoes, like pasta sauce at least once a week. Lycopene is not produced by your body, so the only way to gain its benefits is by eating foods that contain it.
  • Men have more muscle and are typically built bigger than women, which is why they require more calories throughout the day. To get the calories you need, eat carbohydrates like whole-grain bread, pasta and cereal; brown rice; oats; barley; and whole fruits and vegetables.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.