Thursday, July 19, 2018

5 Foods All Men Need in Their Diets

If you are a man, live with a man, gave birth to a man or just want to keep the man in your life healthy, read on...

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of death among men include heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke. Fortunately, they can be fought with a healthy diet. Here are some must-eat foods that can help men live longer and better:

1. Beans
If you want a food that can help you reduce the risk of all four of these leading causes of death among men, look to beans. Kidney, navy and pinto beans, to name a few, are low in heart-unhealthy saturated fat and chock-full of fiber and minerals, which can lower your blood glucose level, risk of cancer and blood pressure.

2. Tuna Fish
Since heart disease is the #1 leading cause of death among men, put tuna on the lunch menu for better heart health. Fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, trout, sardines & tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce that nasty plaque buildup in the arteries that can lead to heart disease. To reap this heart-protective benefit, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings (about 7 ounces) of fish weekly. For a heart-healthy lunch, combine flaked tuna with light mayo and a sprinkle of dried dill. Then, sandwich the tuna spread between two slices of whole-wheat bread. You can even now buy tuna in convenient pouches with tons of spicy seasonings that can be stockpiled in your kitchen cupboards and easily transported to work for a protein-rich snack.

Bonus tip: If you want tuna with a kick, mix it with a hot sauce like Sriracha or chili powder.

Why You Should Have a Small Snack After Every Workout

 When you finish a workout, you fall into one of two camps: You're ravenous for food, or you shy away from it. But those in the latter group may need to rethink their fueling strategy, as it could be sabotaging your weight loss or fitness-related goals. (If you're in the former camp, though, here's how to handle post-workout cravings.)

There are various reasons for skipping food right after a workout. Some think doing so will ruin the work they just put in, while others simply don't think they have the appetite for it, says Heidi Skolnik, owner of Nutrition Conditioning. And that makes sense: Research shows that exercise—especially long or intense bouts of it—lowers the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, and it can take up to three hours for your appetite to return to normal.

But if you don't eat ASAP, your appetite may knock you over the head as soon as it returns, says Skolnik. Plus, delaying when you eat slows down your recovery process, which could make it tough to give it your all the next time you hit the gym.

Thankfully, all you really need to do is down a small recovery snack, ideally within an hour of wrapping your workout. Skolnik says that's when your body is most receptive to muscle repair and glycogen replenishment (the carb stores your body pulls from for quick energy). It doesn't have to be a specially-formulated 600-calorie smoothie, either—something as simple as yogurt and a banana, an apple and a stick of cheese, or even eight ounces of chocolate milk can be enough to take the edge off, she adds. As long as it includes energy-restoring carbs and protein you need to kickstart the recovery process, you're good. (Here are 6 smart snacks to eat after a workout.)

So, next time you're hemming and hawing about post-recovery fuel, make the caloric investment, says Skolnik. It'll maximize your sweat time, netting a greater payoff in the long run.

Step Up Your Strength Training!

Strength training is a major part of a complete workout program. But whether you use free weights, machines or resistance bands, keep challenging your muscles by stepping up your routine as you progress.

Training with 8 to 10 exercises that target all muscle groups should be done 2 or 3 times a week. But never work the same muscles on consecutive days -- your muscles need that recovery time to grow.

As you progress, you might opt for a split routine. That could mean working the upper body on Mondays and Thursdays and the lower body on Tuesdays and Fridays, for instance. How you set up the days is up to you, as long as every muscle group gets the rest it needs between sessions.

Once you can complete three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions of an exercise with excellent form -- meaning you can just about complete your last rep of each set -- it's time to add more weight. This might mean moving up one level in tension if you use resistance bands, adding a weight plate on a machine, or going from 5-pound dumbbells to 7.5-pound ones.

Whatever equipment you use, the increase should be heavy enough that you're back to being able to complete only eight reps per set, and possibly only two sets, not three.

Adding weight is just one way to up your game. You can also lengthen the time it takes you to release the lifted weight to work the muscle longer. Typically, this is twice the length of time it takes you to lift the weight.

If you haven't yet consulted a weight trainer, having a one-on-one session now will not only help you move to the next level safely, but also ensure that you're reaching four key goals: strength, power, muscle development, and endurance.