The key to balanced nutrition in men is really quite simple. It’s what we all should follow. Eat at least three square meals a day, don’t skip breakfast, and eat food from every food group at every meal. Here are some essential steps towards making sure men’s nutrition is balanced, providing the right nutrients for your needs.
Yes, carbohydrates are necessary to men’s health. This is the main source of energy for the body. You need to have simple carbohydrates (sugar) and complex carbohydrates (starches). You should get 60% of your calories from carbohydrates. Generally speaking the average man should consume 2,200 calories a day, meaning that 1320 of your calories should come from carbohydrates. Aim for more of the complex carbohydrates from things like fruits and vegetables, beans, whole grains, and dairy products.
A good way to start off your day is with a bowl of oatmeal with low-fat milk and some fruit preserves and peanut butter.
This is essential to have for survival. Fat is needed to help absorb essential vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K. You should have 15-20% of your daily calories come from fat. Aim to get unsaturated fat in your diet as you’ll need the energy. Try to avoid fats from butter, margarine, oil, and Crisco. Eat lean meats and fish like tilapia and tuna steaks. These contain healthy fatty acids of omega-3 and omega-6.
Be wary of low-fat options because the fat is usually replaced with refined sugar. Portion control is important, too. A good lunch option is tuna, chicken or turkey breast on whole grain bread with Gouda cheese, greens, and honey mustard.
Protein builds and repairs tissue. It’s of course good for muscles, but also skin, hair, and nails. The average man needs about 86 grams of protein a day. So if you eat a 16-ounce steak, then you should go easy on the protein for the rest of the week as the steak has 207 grams of protein. Shoot for 15-20% of your daily calories to be from protein. If you have a smoothie with milk, banana, strawberry, mango, yogurt, and peanut butter post workout, that’s a good source of protein to help repair your muscles.
Meat and potatoes are great, but your protein is best coming from lean meats and fish on a regular basis. The occasional 16-ounce steak is okay, but don’t aim to get an entire month’s worth of protein in one day. Too much of a good thing is never good. So a great balanced dinner option might be a salad sprinkled with almonds or pecans, shrimp, cheese, and black beans. This will be a good source of protein while also being sure to hit those food groups in a balanced way.
Skip the fad diets; they aren’t going to provide you with the balance and healthy nutrition you need. Eating in moderation while following the food pyramid will be the key to balanced health and nutrition. You will have to adjust things based on how active you are and whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, but including carbs, fats, and protein in your diet is going to be essential no matter what your weight goals are.