21 June 2010

This is man-food

The month of June is dedicated to Men's Health and because healthy eating habits are vital for sustaining good health, let's consider what men should, and should not eat.

The month of June is dedicated to Men’s Health and because healthy eating habits are vital for sustaining good health, let’s consider what men should, and should not eat.

However even when we don’t have a Soccer World Cup to celebrate, South African men in general do tend to like their "vleis, rys en aartappels" (meat, rice and potatoes). Vegetables and fruit take a backseat, and milk is for babies!

  • 4-6 portions of unsifted or wholegrain bread, breakfast cereal or porridge, brown rice, or pasta made from Durum wheat. If you are very active and do lots of exercise you need to top up on wholegrain carbohydrates to fuel your workouts. Concentrate on the carbs instead of the proteins, and you will be amazed how much energy you have without gaining weight (Portion sizes: Cooked porridge/rice/pasta - ½ cup; Bread- 1 slice; Breakfast cereal- ½ cup)
  • 3-6 portions of vegetables and fruit, with the emphasis on vegetables which are rich in protective nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C and dietary fibre to combat high blood pressure, raised blood fat levels and diabetes. (Portion sizes: Fruit- 1 small or ½ cup fruit salad/juice; Vegetables - ½ cup salad or cooked veg)
  • 3 portions of low-fat milk or dairy products (yoghurt, cottage cheese). Low-fat milk or yoghurt makes an excellent post-exercise snack to help you replenish your muscle and liver glycogen stores and rehydrate your body. (Portion sizes: Milk/yoghurt - 1 cup; Cottage cheese- ½ cup; Other cheeses - 30g)
  • 3-6 portions of lean meat, fish or eggs. Because of the high incidence of heart disease in South Africa, the SA Heart Foundation recommends that adult South Africans of both sexes should not have more than 4 eggs per week. Eating 2 or more portions of fish a week will help to boost your omega-3 intake and also combat heart disease. (Portion sizes: Fish/meat - 30g; Egg - 1)
  • 2 portions of legumes (dry cooked or canned beans, peas, lentils, or soy beans). Legumes are rich in protective nutrients and contain plenty of dietary fibre, while being free of cholesterol and very low in fat. Legumes are ideal to ‘dilute’ the high-fat content of our typical western diets and we should all be eating legumes instead of meat at least 3 times a week. (Portion sizes: Cooked or canned legumes - ½ cup; Tofu - 30g). 
  • 3-6 portions of poly- or monounsaturated fats or oils - use soft or lite or pro-activ margarine, or olive/canola/avocado oils if you have a cholesterol problem. Nuts and avocado are also rich in monounsaturated fats which protect the heart and blood vessels by lowering ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol and increasing ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. (Portion sizes: Margarine or oil - 1 teaspoon; Avocado -1/4 of a small avocado; Nuts - 30g)   



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