Nutrition Advice from your Pawling Hannaford Dietitian
When this column ran just before Mother’s Day, I wrote an article focused on the nutrients a woman needs to stay healthy. With Father’s Day just days away, it seems only fitting that I would write a similar piece for men.
Nutrients Men Need*
Potassium: You may have noticed the updated Nutrition Facts panel found on packaged foods, which highlights the amount of potassium per serving. This required addition to our food labels comes after extensive research showing that Americans are not consuming adequate potassium. Low potassium is associated with a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, and other diseases. Men should ensure they are regularly consuming foods rich in this essential nutrient including bananas, avocados, nuts (almonds & peanuts), citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, milk, and potatoes.
Omega Fatty Acids: Omega fatty acids are referred to as our essential fatty acids for a reason. They are essential for our health and must be sought out because our body can’t produce them. The two most common omega fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are found in fish and seafood, while lesser-known ALA is found in walnuts, ground flax/flaxseed oil, chia, as well as canola and soybean oils. Men should seek fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, lake trout, anchovies, and others at least twice per week to ensure adequate consumption of DHA/EPA.
Magnesium: Another under-consumed nutrient, magnesium, is important for maintaining a healthy blood pressure and decreasing inflammation in the body thereby lowering risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Men should seek a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grain cereals to ensure adequate magnesium consumption
Calcium: Most people think about their bone health when they consider calcium, but indeed the mineral has many more benefits including maintaining heart rhythm, muscle function, and possibly lowering blood pressure. Seek foods rich in calcium like low fat/part skim (low sugar) dairy, broccoli, kale, tofu, almonds, and calcium-fortified foods.
*It’s important to note that while there are many supplements available to help you meet these nutrient needs, your body prefers and benefits most from foods that are naturally rich in these micronutrients.
Men’s Wellness Goals: Three Things to Do
Exercise 45 – 60 minutes most days of the week. It’s not an option. It’s a must. Exercise is critically important for cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight and metabolism, lowering stress, and more. Regardless of barriers (work, commute, etc.), men must find time to exercise and make it a priority.
Avoid saturated fat. It’s well known that saturated fat is associated with heart disease. Men should make a point of consuming as little saturated fat as possible to lower cholesterol and reduce risk. Limit intake of high fat meat and dairy and read food labels carefully to avoid this unhealthy fat.
Make half of your plate vegetables. Advice on healthy eating can get quite complicated, which is unnecessary and may lead to confusion that inhibits progress. Begin with simple, sound guidance. I recommend starting small by making at least half of your plate a mix of raw and healthfully prepared vegetables. Go for those veggies again when you are seeking seconds.
As your local Hannaford Dietitian, I’m pleased to be sharing my advice and simple tips. Please visit www.hannaford.com/dietitians for my in-store schedule of classes, demonstrations, and store tours or call (845) 855-0553 for more information.
The cholesterol in shrimp shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this protein-rich, low-fat (low calorie) recipe. Visit www.guidingstars.com for more recipes and information about the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program.
Tandoori Shrimp Skewers (3 Guiding Stars)
¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lime juice
4 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. curry powder
2 lbs. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Combine the yogurt, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a small bowl and stir well.
Toss the shrimp with the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Soak skewers in water and preheat grill to medium. Skewer shrimp and grill until shrimp turn opaque (3 – 5 minutes).
Serve with lime wedges and cilantro leaves to garnish.