Just in time for Father’s Day, here’s some great advice from the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION on how to encourage the men in your life to take ownership of their health and nutrition.
When was the last time your father, brother, husband or partner cooked a meal, asked for a second helping of vegetables or did the grocery shopping? If recent trends are a guide, it happened recently, according to the American Dietetic Association.
“More than ever, men are playing a role in buying and preparing the food that is eaten in their household,” says registered dietitian Martin M. Yadrick, past president of the American Dietetic Association. “Not only is budgeting finances important, but men are also realizing the need for healthy calorie budgeting, too.
“Think of eating in terms of contributing to your 401k. Doing the right thing over time will make a huge difference down the road,” Yadrick says. “My advice is: Guys, take ownership of all your personal health needs.”
Registered dietitians say men’s questions, interests and needs regarding food and nutrition tend to focus on such areas as being healthier; looking good; performing at their best; having more energy; recovering from injuries and
learning how they can excel through healthy eating and activity habits.
For men of all ages and all stages of life, eating right and being physically active are as important to health as annual physical exams and visits to the dentist, Yadrick says.
“For men as well as women, good nutrition is vital, but a man’s nutrient needs are unique due to higher muscle mass, larger body size and hormonal differences.”
Men can serve as an example of healthful eating – at work or at home – by making smart foods choices when they’re around colleagues, children and spouses.
“Cut down on meat portions and fill up the extra space with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds,” Yadrick says. By including these foods on your plate every day, men can benefit their health and potentially stave off obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and dementia.
“You can stay healthy and active longer – and that includes your sex life and fertility – if you make good choices when you eat,” says Yadrick.
With research showing that making small dietary and lifestyle changes every day goes a long way toward improving your overall health picture for life, Yadrick encourages all men to jump aboard the eating right bandwagon.
“Adding nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal is a great step in the right direction. Cutting down on portion sizes can make a huge difference in your overall calorie intake,” Yadrick says.
“It’s the results that matter to men, and our taste buds and health can provide the proof that eating right pays off.”
To find a registered dietitian in your area and to learn more about men’s health and nutrition, visit http://www.eatright.org/menshealth/.