June is Men's Health Month, and the American Dietetic Association encourages all men to be aware of preventable health problems and the benefits of early detection and treatment of disease.
“Men of all ages should take time this month, with the help of a registered dietitian, to evaluate their eating plans and take steps that can lead to a healthier and possibly longer life," said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Jim White.
White offers these tips for men to maximize your nutritional health, in June and all year long:
Eat moderate amounts of a variety of foods. “No single food has all, or enough, of the more than 40 nutrients you need," White said. “That's why variety is so important. Visit MyPyramid.gov, for help in selecting foods and portion sizes that are best for you."
Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. “That doesn't mean eliminating meat, butter, cheese or egg yolks from your diet," White said. “It means you should diversify and focus on lower-fat foods." Cut the fat by:
- Choosing low-fat or nonfat milk and milk products, lean meat, fish, skinless poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and foods that are baked, broiled, steamed or roasted
- Limiting margarine, butter, oils, shortenings, salad dressing, whole milk, regular cheese, fried foods and rich desserts.
Eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits ââ‚¬â€œ sources of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. “The typical American man consumes barely half the recommended amount of dietary fiber," White said. “Men who eat adequate amounts of fiber are less likely to suffer from constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. These foods also help control blood cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk of colon cancer." White added that adult men under 50 should consume 38 grams of fiber daily and men over 50 should aim for 30 grams of fiber daily.
Shake the sodium and salt habit. “Read food labels to find foods that are lower in sodium," White said. “Also, add herbs and spices to dishes instead of extra salt."
If you drink alcohol, moderation is the key. “Alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories and offer few nutrients," White said. “Limit yourself to two drinks a day for optimal health. A single drink equals 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits."
The American Dietetic Association is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.