It’s Men’s Health week this week so I thought I’d share my top tips for keeping the men in your life healthy. Men and women aren’t that different when it comes to daily nutrition. Yes, men tend to have more muscle mass which increases their requirements compared to a female. But nutritionally speaking, men still need a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to tick along each day.
Eat your veggies
Men need 5-6 serves of veggies every day which is about 5-6 fistfuls. So you can see leaving your veggies until dinner time is too late, you need to have at least 2-3 serves at lunch and even better breakfast. If you’re out at a cafe for brunch add a side of spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes or if you’re cooking eggs add these into the pan. To make it easier during the week my husband and I have a green smoothie every morning, we make up enough for four serves every couple of days.
2. It’s not all about the meat
There’s a misconception that meat = protein but eating more isn’t better. The magic amount of protein your muscles are capable of absorbing during a meal seems to be about 25 to 35 grams which you’ll get from a palm size piece of meat. If you’re piling your plate with too much protein, you might be pushing other vital nutrients out of your diet from foods such as vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains that can help with muscle recovery and weight loss.
While lean red meat is an important contributor to dietary iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein in the Australian diet, high meat and in particular, red meat intake is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The Cancer Council recommends:
Moderate consumption of unprocessed lean red meat. A moderate amount of meat is 65g serve of cooked meat each day or 2 serves (130g) 3-4 times a week. Avoid consuming more than 455g of cooked lean red meat each week;
Limiting or avoiding processed meats such as frankfurts, salami, bacon and ham, which are high in fat and salt and linked to stomach cancer;
Try swapping out some meat in recipes for lentils or beans - here’s two recipe ideas:
3 Focus on fibre
Men need 30g of fibre every day and most men only get about 15g of fibre. Fibre helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels and helps prevent bowel cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Best of all fibre helps you feel fuller for longer, helping you eat less and maintain your weight more easily. Some great sources of fibre are avocado, jacket potatoes, wholegrain breads, black beans and nuts. Don’t forget to drink more water when you start increasing your fibre intake.
4. perfect your portions
If you don’t know how much of each food group to have then it is easy to miss the mark and either be eating too little or too much! This strategy isn’t going to help you hit any training or nutritional goals. It can be easier to remember to increase your intake on a heavy training day, as your body gives you hunger cues. But it’s the other way around that can be forgotten, if you skip your run or gym session. This is a handy infographic from Precision Nutrition. They show two palms of protein, which would be for a more active/taller guy.
Have you been thinking for a while that you would love to find out more about your gut health or why your weight won’t shift no matter what you do? Or maybe you just want to feel less bloated, have more energy and understand what food you are meant to be eating?
I’m offering a free 15 minute call to work out a nutrition action plan to get you feeling your best. There are no commitments just a friendly chat so we can work out if I’m the right person to help you reach your health goals.
Rachel is a university qualified Clinical Nutritionist based in Balmain. She is also the busy working mum of two teenagers, so is practical and realistic with her advice . Rachel offers private consultations to improve your family's health and well-being. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram for more healthy tips and tricks.