The Victorian Institute of Sport Nutrition Team has put together some facts and tips to help the boys and men in the VIS community create some healthy habits.
- Considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in Australia, it’s important to look after this important organ. Choosing more of the “good” fats from nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olives and their oils and less saturated fat can help manage cholesterol levels and reduce risk.
- Did you know that 70% of men don’t consume enough fruit? Consider this your reminder to include 2 serves in your diet every day. You could add one to breaky and enjoy another with lunch or pack a couple to snack on throughout the day.
- Don’t leave the table till you’ve eaten your veggies! The ideal daily target is 5 serves a day, with one serve equal to about half a cup. However, 97% of men don’t meet that target. The key is to get a couple of serves at breaky or lunch and the remainder at dinner. Soups, salads & stir fry’s are all great ways to increase your veggie intake.
- Make sure you are getting enough zinc in your diet. Zinc is important for maintaining a healthy immune system, promoting wound healing, and supporting healthy testosterone levels. Good sources of zinc include oysters, beef, pork, chicken, beans, nuts, and whole grains.
- Approximately 1 in 14 Australian men will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime. One of the risk factors is not eating enough high fibre foods. Look after your gut and it will look after you! Your gut is home to a diverse range of healthy bacteria which needs specific food to thrive and keep you feeling great. It likes grainy carbs, nuts, seeds, a variety of vegetables and fruit. Consider:
- switching white bread for multigrain
- fruit juice for whole fruit (skin on where appropriate)
- try a new vegetable you haven't tried before
- sprinkle nuts and seeds over cereal or yoghurt
- Feed your brain! Foods that are good for your brain can keep you mentally healthy and improve memory and concentration. At the top of the list of brain foods is fatty fish such as salmon, trout and sardines, all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Just two serves per week (that’s about 200g) could do wonders to improve the health of your brain.
- It’s okay not to have a six pack ….interpret as you wish (body or beer!)
- Have you had your 3 serves of dairy (or calcium rich alternative) today? Men get osteoporosis too! So, look after your bones!
- Exercise regularly. Sometimes in winter we are not as motivated to keep as active as we do in the summer months. You can hit the gym or head out for a morning run; or even head to the oval to kick a footy with your kids or organise to go for a walk with a mate. Aim for 30 mins a day - it will help both your physical and mental health.
- Take some time out to do the things you enjoy. It is easy to focus on your work and your family, but don’t forget to schedule some time in your week to do the things that you love.
- Don’t put off going to the doctor (or Dietitian). Men are less likely to visit a doctor than women and therefore get treated later for health concerns leading to a poorer prognosis.
Learn more about Men's Health Week 2023 on the Australian Men's Health Forum's website.