Wednesday, March 16, 2011
OK guys, quick question: Have you had your daily recommended serving of nuts, berries and fruit today? Do you ensure that your diet includes nutrients like zinc, magnesium, selenium and Vitamin C, among others? If not, then you may be setting yourself up for some health problems, warn experts.
Have you paused to consider why nutritionists insist that a man's diet must include certain specific foods? Or why the dietary needs of men are so different from women's?
Says Safeek Ahmad Ali, dietician, Welcare Hospital, Dubai, "There are many reasons. To begin with, it is the difference in their body size. As against shorter and smaller framed women, men are larger and taller and have a higher metabolic rate. In terms of body composition, women have more fat in proportion to muscle. As a result, their metabolic rates are lower than men [of the same height, build and weight] by five to ten per cent. Women are more likely to be affected by hormonal issues and endocrinal disorders. Their menstrual cycle, too, largely affects their metabolic rate and it fluctuates a lot."
Probably this is why there is such emphasis on the inclusion of nutrients like potassium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, omega-oils and healthy fats as must-haves in every man's diet.
"These prevent diseases, help maintain muscles, protect prostate health and improve overall health," he says. "Besides, remember that the basal and resting energy expenditure [defined as the minimum amount of energy utilised while relaxing mentally and physically], is much higher in men than in women."
According to Ali, the leading causes of death among men include heart disease, prostate and lung cancer. "This is why apart from the total calories," says Ali, "men should also pay attention to the type of nutrients they need to combat these diseases. A diet that supports reducing the risk of all the above is very important."
He says, "Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of coronary heart disease; it is the accumulation of low density lipoprotein (LDL, the bad cholesterol), calcium and fibrin in the arteries causing insufficient blood flow. High blood lipids, including high cholesterol, high triglycerides and high LDL, are all risk factors of heart disease and can be controlled by a diet low in saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats. Diets contain both inhibitors and enhancers of carcinogenesis. Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, proper nutrition may modify the carcinogenic process."
Foods which may alleviate the complications of these diseasesFish
Why: Sardines, mackerel, and salmon are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids which, in addition to being beneficial for the heart by decreasing blood clotting, boost mental and physical performance.
Seeds and bran
Why: Wheat bran, flaxseed and sesame seeds are rich in phytic acid (inositol) which suppress oxidation reaction in the colon that produce free radicals and may be effective in slowing tumour growth.
Carrots, dark orange fruits and cantaloupe
Why: These contain betacarotene which neutralises free radicals that damage cells and boost antioxidant defences.
Onion, garlic and leeks
Why: The functional component called diallyl sulphides present in these promote heart health and also boost production of enzymes that benefit the immune system.
Why: Strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and pomegranates contain ellagic acids, which may block the production of enzymes needed for tumour growth, function as antioxidants and have possible antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Tomato, pink grapefruit, guava and watermelon
Why: The functional compound called lycopene present in these fruits protects prostate health by reducing the risk of prostate cancer and may also aid in preserving bone health.
Why: Deep green vegetables, kale, spinach and collards are rich sources of lutein, which plays a role in protecting the eyes from oxidation. Lutein is also being investigated for potentially reducing the risk of colon, lung and skin cancer.
Cherries, red grapes, apples and green tea
Why: These flavonoid-rich sources neutralise free radicals, contribute to the heart's well-being, vision and brain function by reducing oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Wheat, corn and soy
Why: Plant sterols present in these foods bolster the benefits of a heart- healthy diet, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Beans, turkey and lean beef
Why: Are the readily available form of zinc, a trace mineral which plays an important role in immune function and genetic information.
Why: These are great sources of Vitamin E, which is a strong antioxidant. It protects red blood cells from haemolysis.
Citrus fruits, peppers and greens
Why: Rich in Vitamin C, important in immune response, wound healing and allergic reactions.
Brazil nut, tuna and grains
Why: These are rich sourcesof selenium, which acts as anantioxidant and neutralisesfree radicals.
Liver and oyster
Why: These contain copper, which protects against oxidants and free radicals.
Whole grains and legumes
Why: They're good sources of manganese, which makes bones strong, and helps in absorbing Vitamin B1.
Milk, yoghurt and tofu
Why: These are the most concentrated sources of calcium, which is needed for permitting optimal gains in bone mass and density, nerve transmission and regulation of heart muscle function.
What to eat for nutrition to build muscles
According to Ali, the secret to a successful performance and outcome in sports and exercise is a combination of many things. "These are favourable genetics, proper training and a sensible approach to right nutrition," he says."Remember, carbohydrate, protein and fat are all possible sources of fuel for muscle contraction.
"Individuals who participate in an overall fitness programme, 30 minutes per day, 3 times a week, can generally meet their daily nutritional needs by following a normal diet providing 25 to 35 kcal/kg/day or roughly 1,800 to 2,400 calories. Their fat intake should not exceed 30 per cent of the total calorie intake. Also, their protein should be 1 to 1.5g per kg of body weight."
He says, "Men engaged in intense weight training should consume enough protein to avoid negative nitrogen balance, which will lead to muscle wasting and retarded recovery.
Out of the many protein sources, whey protein is the ultimate. It comes from milk. During the process of turning milk into cheese, whey protein is separated out. It has the highest value in providing branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which result in building and retaining muscle tissue.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Exercise regularly, combine cardio fitness and light weightlifting.
Choose a variety of foods from each food group like grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and lean meat.
Drink enough water.
Eat fewer calories per day than you burn.
Stay away from eating concentrated sugary and processed foods. These trigger insulin and the extra calories are stored as fat. Sugar is a prime energy source for many cancers, including prostate cancer. n Don't consume foods that contain high saturated fats, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils.
Even if you are fond of charbroiled and over-cooked meats, stop eating them right away.
Overcooking any type of meat at very high temperatures produces a set of carcinogens called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Don't use any tobacco products and abstainfrom alcohol.
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