A healthy diet and eating the right food is essential to maintaining good shape, energy, health, wellbeing and to avoid health problems
Men and boys need to sustain a healthy diet in order to
- Stay in good shape
- Maintain healthy skin, hair, eyes and nails
- Generate energy
- Aid concentration, memory, mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Create a strong and healthy immune system and to reduce the risk of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancers, high blood pressure, stroke, cataracts and osteoporosis.
Fact: Five of the ten leading causes of death and disease are directly associated with diet. (www.malehealth.co.uk)
Staying in good shape is important as being overweight means that the heart needs to work much harder and this in turn puts a strain on the whole body. Being overweight can also lead to orthopaedic problems eg bad back.
Take a look at the table below - how similar is this to your diet?
|Bread, potatoes & other cereals||All kinds of bread, pasta, rice, noodles, breakfast cereals, potatoes, oats and grains. Aim for three daily servings of wholegrain types.||Have 6-11 servings daily (according to appetite). A serving is: 1 slice of bread; a bowl of cereal; half a bagel, 3 crackers, half a cup of cooked rice or pasta, 1 potato.|
|Fruit & vegetables||All types - fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juices can count. Choose a variety of different types and colours each day.||Aim for at least 5 portions every day. A portion is: 2 tbsp vegetables, 2-3 tbsp cooked fruit, side salad, medium fruit, glass of juice, 1 tbsp dried fruit.|
|Milk & dairy foods & alternatives||Opt for lower fat varieties, e.g. reduced-fat milks, yogurts, fromage frais and cheeses.||Have 2-3 servings daily. A serving is: 200 ml milk/soya milk, a small pot of yogurt or rice pudding, 30 g hard cheese, e.g. cheddar.|
|Meat, fish & alternatives||Lean and trimmed meats, poultry, all types of fish, eggs, beans, split peas and lentils, nuts and meat substitutes||Eat moderate amounts, e.g. 2-3 servings a day. A serving is: 50-75 g meat, 100 g fish, 1-2 eggs, 3-4 tbsp cooked beans, 50 g nuts.|
|Foods rich in fat and/or sugar||Unsaturated oils, e.g. olive, rapeseed, sunflower, soya and their spreads. Use fats sparingly when preparing food.|
Eat modest amounts. Look out for lower-fat alternatives to spreads, dressings and ready meals.
Breakfast -Don't miss it. Those who eat healthy breakfasts tend to be slimmer, better performers and have lower cholesterol levels than breakfast skippers.
Snacks-Instead of crisps, chocolate and biscuits try fresh fruit , nuts and other seeds.
Drinks-Tap or bottled water, sugar-free soft drinks and squashes, pure fruit juice, moderate tea and coffee, herbal teas. Have at least 2 litres (8 large glasses) of fluid each day.
Alcohol - healthy limits for men are 3-4 units a day. A unit is half a pint of standard beer or lager, a small glass of wine, or a pub measure of spirits.