Healthy Eating for the Average Guy
Experts offer some easy ways men can start making better food choices
By Carol Sorgen
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Real men don't eat quiche, according to the old joke. But what do they eat? And, more important, what should they be eating?
Generally speaking, men tend to have less variety in their diet than women, says preventive cardiologist Arthur Agatston, MD, author of The South Beach Diet. Men are more apt than women to eat fatty meats, processed carbohydrates, fast food, and snacks that are high in fat, sodium, and calories. Men are also apt to eat fewer whole fruits, grains, and vegetables, he says.
"As a group, men don't get the breadth of nutrients they need," Agatston says.
One reason for this may be that men tend to be creatures of habit, he adds. They can get in the habit of eating the same foods over and over -- and oversized portions at that. They may not eat from all of the food groups, and they don't necessarily make a conscious effort to select nutritious foods.
The real problem with all this, says Creighton University nutritionist Rita Frickel, MS, RD, LMNT, is that men tend to eat a diet higher in saturated fats, which increases the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Most American men also need more fiber in their diets, says Agatson. Fiber not only has a host of important health benefits but also promotes satiety -- the feeling of fullness that can keep you from overeating.