Healthy eating is important for all of us, and men are no exception. Proper nutrition from all the food groups not only provides fuel for the body, but can also help prevent men from developing long-term diseases and keep them living longer. Here are some recommendations for men to keep in mind:
Men require more calories than women due to a higher percentage of muscle mass in their bodies. Moderately active males need 2,000 to 2,800 calories per day, but their exact energy requirement depends on activity level, body size and age.
Again, more muscle mass means men require more protein than women, as well. Similar to calories, the exact amount depends on exercise level, height, weight and body mass. Typically, 8-12 ounces per day is the minimum requirement for a sedentary male. While men are usually avid meat-eaters, focusing on plant-based proteins like beans and lentils can reduce saturated fat intake and risk of heart disease as well as colon and prostate cancers.
Men should make at least half of their grain servings whole grains to help meet their daily fiber recommendation of 38 grams each day, or 30 grams for men over 50. Adequate fiber intake supports gut health and helps to prevent some cancers like colon cancer.
Men can also decrease risk of heart disease by choosing more unsaturated fats instead of saturated. Eating oily fish or seafood at least two to three times per week and choosing oils in the place of butter or other solid fats can help. Watching portion sizes of fried foods and high-fat meats is also a strategy to decrease saturated fat.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Men need at least 2 cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables daily. This allows for adequate intake of important vitamins and minerals like potassium. Men require 3,400 milligrams of potassium each day, which can be found in produce but also in dairy products.
It’s also important for men, like everyone, to stay hydrated. Men require 3 to 4 liters of water daily.