Posts Tagged ‘men’


By David Grotto, RDN, LDN, author of The Best Things You Can Eat
This post is sponsored by SILK brand soy milk.

Though I’m a father of three daughters and know how soy consumption at an early age may have breast cancer protective benefits, I’m here to say that soy is not for women only! In fact, soy offers complete protein and a variety of essential nutrients that contribute to men’s health.

Good for the heart and every other part! Soy is good for the heart because it is high in soy protein and fiber, contains heart-healthy fats, micronutrients and antioxidants called isoflavones, and is low in saturated fat and cholesterol free. Whole soybeans are packed with fiber and healthy fats, and are rich in zinc, magnesium, iron and bone-building calcium. According to the FDA, consuming 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Soy helps fight heart disease by research shows lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. You’ll also find that soy is one of the few plant sources of omega 3 fats, which have anti-inflammatory benefits throughout the body. Regular soybeans have soluble fiber that helps suck up cholesterol before it gets a chance to clog guys’ arteries. Fermented soy foods, like miso and tempeh, contain probiotics that have been found to be effective for lowering cholesterol, too!

Soy and testosterone. Andropause is a condition where men experience low levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Contrary to popular belief, not only does soy not lower soy protein, testosterone gets a boost from added protein in the diet. Ingesting high quality protein around the time of exercising has been shown to increase androgen binding sites (which attaches to testosterone) in muscle tissue. The volume of scientific studies also support that whole soyfood intake has no negative effect on erectile function, testosterone levels, reproductive hormones, sperm motility, or sperm quality. Scientific consensus supports soy as a part of a healthful lifestyle for both genders.

Diabetes: Adult diabetes is on the rise in both women and men. But the good news is that following a healthy lifestyle and calorie-controlled diet that includes whole soyfoods may help keep diabetes at bay. A research study found men who were given a dry roasted soybeans had significantly reduced fasting glucose and triglycerides in comparison with the control group. Also, the soybean supplement group showed enhanced antioxidant activity which may help protect against free radical damage in type 2 diabetes.

Other health benefits. A Chinese study found that soybeans added to the diets of healthy volunteers improved immune and brain function. Soy is an excellent source of the b-vitamin thiamine and is also a source of vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) folate. A large study found that those with higher levels of vitamin B-2 and folate in their blood had lower risk of colorectal cancer.
Some enjoyable and popular whole soyfoods include edamame; whole cooked soybeans; tofu, tempeh and soymilk. Here’s a popular smoothie that my guy patients really enjoy.

Soy Cherry Good!

Servings: 1
1/2 cup lite vanilla SILK soymilk
2 tablespoons almond or peanut butter
1 cup frozen unsweetened cherries or strawberries
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 teaspoon freshly ground espresso beans
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 dash of nutmeg
1 dash of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth and sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon on the top and serve.


The Best Things You Can Eat‬: ‪For Everything from Aches to Zzzz, the Definitive Guide to the Nutrition-Packed Foods That Energize, Heal, and Help You Look Great‬. Da Capo/Life Long Books, January 2013. New York.

Yimit D, Hoxur P, Amat N, Uchikawa K, Yamaguchi N. Effects of soybean peptide on immune function, brain function, and neurochemistry in healthy volunteers.
Nutrition. 2012 Feb;28(2):154-9.

Eussen SJ et al. Plasma vitamins B2, B6, and B12, and related genetic variants as predictors of colorectal cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010

Guys can have a positive influence on the way a family eats. Here’s my latest blog post about how guys can model healthy eating for their family featured today on Meals Matter, a website and blog committed to healthy meal planning!

Times have changed. Long gone are the traditional roles that suggest only the man brings home “the bacon” and it’s the woman’s job to cook it. The same holds true for which parent is ultimately responsible for teaching their children the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating habits. Kids look to both mom and dad for this responsibility. So from one “man” eater to all of the others out there, here are my five tips on how guys can step up to the plate and model healthy eating for the entire family.

Man-sized appetite. So dad, are you a lumberjack or an office worker? Men can message to kids that a “man-sized” portion will vary depending on activity level. Best visual lessons include not overfilling your plate, slowing down the rate that you eat at and not being afraid to throw in the towel when you first become full –even if there is still food on the plate!

Real men eat fruit and vegetables (and not just potatoes!) Salad isn’t just for rabbits and “chicks”. They can be real filler-uppers and deliver much-needed fiber and antioxidants for guys and everyone one else at the table, too.

Macho milk mustache. Men are not impervious to weak bones. The number of cases of men diagnosed with osteoporosis grows each year. Low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese are great ways to meet much-needed calcium levels for healthy bones throughout the lifecycle, regardless of gender. Plus, milk and milk products are packed with protein!

Be a whole grain “roll” model. Guys can choose whole grain fiber and nutrient-rich cereals for breakfast, sandwich breads to pack in the family lunches and sides to round out the dinner meal. Whole grains do a better job in both satisfying a starving man or a hungry girl.

Lean your protein. There are very lean cuts of animal protein that are lower in cholesterol, saturated fat and calories that meet the needs of the entire family. Plant based proteins like beans and soy can also satisfy a hearty appetite while providing fiber and other important nutrients.

Shop, cook and clean like a man. Research suggests the more kids get involved in the procurement and preparation of food, the better food choices they make later on in life. Take the kids shopping with you and try your best to quench that man urge of saying “that’s okay…I’ll do that.” Kids want to help and will be more likely to try what they make if they’re involved. And don’t be afraid to ask them to clean up afterwards. The latest research study suggests that kids who participate in regular chores are happier. Who doesn’t love happy children?!

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