June is National Men’s Health Month, and guys, this blog is for you! It’s time to reconnect with your body, start eating right and get yourself on track for a healthier you. As I talk to my friends, family, and even acquaintances, I find that there are commonalities in the way men tend to eat. Many of us grab fast food multiple times per week, dislike veggies, or overindulge in sweets. When we have poor nutritional habits, it can lead to poor health—and for men, this can mean an increased risk of chronic illness and diseases.
Simple lifestyle changes like eating heart-healthy foods including lean meats, low-fat dairy, and monounsaturated fats can greatly reduce your overall risk and reduce your cholesterol levels to help you lose weight. Eliminating trans fats in fried foods and commercially-baked products as well as limiting cholesterol-rich foods like egg yolks, organ meats, and whole milk products is also recommended. Of course, healthy eating goes along with exercise even walking 10–15 minutes per day at a minimum can start to give you life-changing results. Here are three more ways you can get your eating habits on track.
Make Small, Sensible Changes
Don’t make drastic changes all at once. Gradual changes in your eating habits lead to more feelings of success and less frustration. Fad diets, skipping meals, and feeling deprived will only lead to falling back into old habits. Build up to following a healthy eating schedule with three meals plus a snack or two, adding in colorful fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol and soda, and switching to more whole-grain carbohydrates like oats, quinoa, brown rice, and barley. Good nutrition starts with small changes that lead to big results.
Switch It Out
Switch out those simple carbs for complex ones. For example, try whole-wheat or whole-grain bread because they add fiber as well as vitamins and minerals that you may not get with white bread. Swap mustard, avocado, or hummus in place of mayonnaise to reduce calories and unhealthy fats. Use skim or 1% milk instead of water in your oatmeal to add protein and calcium—and instead of brown sugar try some fresh berries, raisins, or dried cranberries to sweeten it up. Switch up iceberg lettuce for leafy greens like baby spinach, arugula, or spring mix. Lastly, consider baking, broiling, or grilling chicken and fish at least once per week.
Focus on Fruits and Veggies
Try finding one or two that you really enjoy and stick with them for a short period of time. Trying various preparation methods can help you find your preference! Roasting veggies with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs is easy, but you can also add them into soups and sauces as another way to include them in your diet. Onions, tomatoes, avocado, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, and asparagus are delicious additions to omelets, pizzas, and sandwiches.
Don’t forget to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water, too. Be sure to consult your physician to make sure you are doing what’s right for you and your health needs. Check out our recipe site for some great healthy recipe ideas. Happy National Men’s Health Month.