In the past decade, we’ve all become a lot more conscious about what we put in our bodies. With that consciousness though, comes a lot of conflicting advice. Red wine–in moderation–is good for your heart? Great! But how much is too much? Green tea is going to single-handedly cure cancer? Cool! But how many cups do I have to chug a day? Well, we can’t answer all your health questions today, but we can address some common myths about men’s health. Hopefully this makes things just a little easier.
Do you really need that shake?
Protein shakes and energy drinks seem like they must be inherently healthy. Sorry, but that’s just not true. In fact, many energy drinks and protein powders have a tonne of sugar and are way too high in sodium. You have to be careful about when, what and how much you’re drinking.
Energy drinks are something you need to replenish electrolytes after more than an hour of intense physical activity or when you’ve been sweating profusely. They’re not for pairing with your lunch when you’ve just been sitting at a desk for hours. Protein shakes are also a post-workout drink. Plan to have your shake (including 10 to 20 grams of protein) half an hour to an hour after your workout for best results. Remember, Greek yogurt, eggs and tuna could also give you that post-workout protein.
How much beer is too much
Some nutritionists would have you cut out beer altogether, but that’s just not fair, is it? Yes, it’s linked to health problems and, most notably, that infamous beer gut, but how much is too much? One beer is actually only 150 calories but that can really add up if you’re drinking a lot of it. According to Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines, men should be drinking no more than 15 standard drinks a week and no more than four per day. When you think about it, even those four drinks is 600 calories or 30 percent of your daily allowance.
You might also want to take a look at what you’re eating with your beer. Generally, ‘pub food’ is fattier and less nutritious than your average meal, so it’s worth it to monitor your food habits when drinking.
How important is fibre anyway?
Short answer: very important. That’s the stuff that keeps you regular, ‘nough said. Don’t worry, there are a lot of sources of fibre without having to muscle through a bowl of Bran Buds every day (although, you should try them in some yogurt). First, remember that the more natural your fruits/vegetables are (meaning, raw and with skin) the more fibre they have. Fruits and veggies like apples, raspberries, avocado, carrots and dark-coloured vegetables are all high in fibre. Nuts, seeds and peanuts are also good sources. Consider adding bran to things like muffins or meatloaf too for an added boost.
What foods can help combat prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most prominent cancer among men. One in eight Canadian men will develop it in their lifetime. While prostate cancer is highly treatable in most cases, it makes sense to take any precautions you can to avoid it. That includes in the foods you eat. Consuming the antioxidant lycopene is one preventative measure you can take. Lycopene is found in red-tinted fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, red peppers, watermelon, pink grapefruit and papaya. And don’t worry about having to eat them raw, lycopene is actually better absorbed by your body when it has been slightly cooked.
What about foods to combat gout?
Both men and women are susceptible to gout–a kind of inflammatory arthritis–but men are four times more likely to develop it. So how can you change your diet for your best chance at avoiding it? Limit foods that are high in purines and instead eat foods that are notably low in them. Purines are a chemical compound found in some foods that breaks down into uric acid which can cause swelling in the joints and lead to gout. Organ meats (actually, meat in general), seafood and beer are all high in purines so eat in moderation. Tofu, dairy and soy milks and cherries are all low in purines. Drinking water is also beneficial in flushing out that uric acid and calming gout.