For guys out there, if you idea of a healthy food for men is a burger and a beer, please read on. There has never been a more urgent time to pay attention to what we eat. The National Health Survey in Singapore conducted showed that the obesity rate has increased from 6.9 per cent in 2004 to 10.8 per cent in 2010.
The Singapore government’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) attributed the increase in obesity to Singaporeans leading a more sedentary lifestyle with lack of physical activity. The survey found that more than half of Singaporeans do not exercise at all. It has also never been easier to make poor food choices nowadays. Due to the fast paced lifestyle, people are picking up more fast food such as taking a hamburger for lunch or ordering a pizza for dinner.
Research evidence showed that men and women gain weight in different places on the body. Women tend to accumulate excess fat on the hips and thighs while men tend to gain weight around their waist. Having excess fat around the waist is dangerous because the fat makes its way to the liver and may cause metabolic problems such as diabetes. Extra fat in men may also lead to hypertension, heart disease and even affect a man’s sexual life.
Although the protein requirements for men and women are the same, men tend to take more processed meats such as grilled or barbecue beef steak. For men who likes red meat, they can choose to take lean cut of organic beef which is a healthier choice. However, the best healthy food choices of protein comes from nuts, whole grains, beans and vegetable sources. Proteins should make up about 15 percent of our daily calorie.
The fat requirement for men and women are also similar, which is about 30 to 35 percent of our daily calorie intake. For those who want to shed some unwanted pounds, you can reduce the fat intake to 20 to 25 percent. As a man gets older and lack sufficient exercises, his muscle is gradually being replaced by fat. This is because fatty tissues do not need much calories to sustain as compared to muscle tissues.
Healthy food choices include cutting down on saturated fats and especially trans fats. These fats are commonly found in fried foods, processed foods, commercially baking goods and hard margerine. Instead, choose food with unsaturated or monounsaturated fats. In addition, omega3 fatty acids are consider healthy food for men to take and they can be found in cold water fish such as salmon or plant sources such as flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.
As for carbohydrates, it should make up about 45 to 65 percent of women’s and men’s intake of daily calorie. However, not all carbs are the same. Some has higher glycemic index (GI) than the rest. GI measures how quickly the food increase your blood sugar level when compared to pure glucose. Foods with high GI include refined grains, processed foods and white breads (made from white flour). You should take foods with low GI which includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These healthy foods for men and women provide the fiber needed to maintain good health. Other healthy food choices of carbohydrates should include taking wholegrain rice and bread.
Some men likes to take snacks like a mix of cookies, potato chips and pop corn while watching sport programs or football matches. Such men’s favorites have high amount of sodium, fat and calories. Eating high amounts of sodium may increase blood pressure, so men should ensure their daily sodium intake is less than 2,300mg per day. The best healthy diet is to simply skip the salt and soy sauce. Instead use other flavour foods like fresh herbs, ginver, olives, garlic and spices. Take fresh veggie and fruits rather than canned food.
Researchers have discovered there are 2 factors that lead people to eat fast food like burgers. They are convenience and a dislike for cooking. Therefore, it is not surprising that men are more likely than women to take fast food. So are single people. If you have to take fast food, keep the following in mind:
1. As fried chicken (french fries inclusive) contains high amount of calories, choose grilling over fried.
2. Choose non-carbonated over carbonated drinks.
3. Whole grain fast food beats fried fast food.
4. You can now buy pre-packed vegetables and fruits in some supermarkets for lunch. Add a cup of lowfat yogurt if you like.
5. Limit your intake of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise which are sodium-filled.
8 Top Healthy Food For Men
Here are more healthy food for men and their benefits:
1. Almonds – contained essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron as well as fibre. Known to help lower cholesterol.
2. Apple – an apple a day can help to lower blood glucose and cholesterol as it contains pectin, a soluble fiber
3. Banana – contains potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke
4. Blueberries – contains phytonutrients that improve memory and slows the ageing process
5. Broccoli – rich sources of phytonutrients, vitamin A and C
6. Red wine – studies have shown that drinking of alcohol in moderation, especially red wine can reduce the risk for various aspects of cardiovascular disease
7. Salmon – good source of omega-3 fatty acids, good for the heart
8. Spinach – Helps to bolster immunity and prevent muscular degeneration
Now that you know these healthy food for men, it’s easy to make healthy food choices, all is needed is a change in mindset!