The Manly Art of Healthy Eating

Just for men: Foods that can make a difference in the way you feel

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD

Whether it's summertime snacking at the softball field or chowing down at a tailgate party during football season, most men score dangerously low in the game of healthy eating, experts say. The foods that traditionally make men quiver -- such as chili dogs, big bags of chips, and vats of onion dip -- may be great for team spirit, but they're not so great for the heart, blood pressure, and prostate (not to mention those washboard abs).

The good news is that there's been plenty of research over the past several years on what makes up a diet that's healthy for guys in particular. The result: A list of foods that could do for a man's health what the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue can do for his ... well, you get the idea. And yes, there are foods for that as well!

So what are the macho munchies a health-minded guy should seek out? And, more important, what should he avoid?

According to nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, the surprising truth is that one of the most important food groups for men is fats -- as long as they're the right kind.

"Contrary to the common low-fat, no-fat message that seems to be everywhere, it's important for men to recognize that not all fats are bad, and some are essential to male health," says Heller, a nutritionist at NYU Medical Center in New York.