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Men's Health (cont.)

Diet Do's and Don'ts of Men's Health

All men have to eat food for growth and maintenance of a healthy body, but men have different requirements as infants, children (kids), teenagers, young adults, adults, and seniors. For example, infants require feeding every 4 hours until they gradually age and begin to take in more solid foods. Boys develop into the more normal pattern of eating three times per day; however, as most parents know, most boys, teenagers, and young adults often snack between meals. Snacking is often not limited to these age groups because adults and seniors often do the same.

Healthy Eating

  • Eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). It is important to remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal; choose lunch as the largest meal.
  • The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts (with emphasis on beans and nuts); try to limit meats and dairy products to avoid fats and cholesterol.
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Look at the labels because the first listed items on the labels usually comprise the highest concentrations of ingredients.
  • Control portion sizes. Eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
  • Snacks are OK in moderation and should consist of items like fruit, whole grains, or nuts (especially) to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
  • Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories in the sodas and sugar drinks. Diet drinks may not be a good choice as they make some people hungrier and increase food consumption.
  • Avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and weight gain.
  • Avoid heavy meals in the summer months, especially during hot days.
  • A vegetarian lifestyle has been promoted for a healthy lifestyle and weight loss. Vegetarians should check with their physicians to be sure they are getting enough vitamins, minerals, and iron in their food. A balanced vegetarian lifestyle will not compromise a man's development as evidenced by athletes who choose such a lifestyle.
  • Cooking foods (above 165 F or 73.8 C) destroys most harmful bacteria and other pathogens. If men choose to eat uncooked foods like fruits or vegetables they should be washed thoroughly before consumption. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats of any type.

Special Considerations for Men's Health

  • Men with diabetes should use the above tips and monitor their glucose levels as directed, and try to keep the daily blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible.
  • Men with unusual work schedules (night shifts, college students, military) should try to adhere to a breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine with minimal snacking.
  • Men who prepare food for themselves or others should avoid using grease or frying foods in grease.
  • Men trying to lose weight (body fat) should avoid all fatty and sugary foods and eat mainly vegetables, fruits, and nuts and markedly reduce his intake of meat and dairy products.
  • Men should seek medical advice early if they cannot control their weight, food intake, or if they have diabetes and cannot control their blood glucose levels.
  • Any weight loss regiment should not only include dietary restrictions and modifications but also an exercise regimen.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/28/2016

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