Healthy Eating for Men

Reviewed by Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN
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Food is more than just fuel. Your diet can help fight disease and keep you feeling younger.

Eating Right

A healthy diet for men includes:

  • At least 2 cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables each day for vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals.
  • Whole grains. Eat at least half of all grains as whole grains each day. Replace refined grains with whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, brown rice or oats.
  • At least 38 grams of fiber per day for younger men; 30 grams of fiber per day for men older than 50.
  • At least two to three servings of fish per week.
  • Unsaturated fats such as oils, nuts and oil-based salad dressings in place of saturated fats such as full-fat dairy foods, butter and high-fat sweets.
  • 3,400 milligrams a day of potassium from fruits, vegetables, fish and dairy.

Energy Foods

Since men have more muscle and typically are bigger than women, they require more calories throughout the day. Moderately active males likely need 2,200 to 2,800 calories per day. Your energy needs depend on your height, weight and activity level.

For energy and disease prevention, men should eat whole grains such as whole-grain bread, pasta, cereal, brown rice, oats, barley, beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in fiber, help manage hunger and fullness and help fend off certain cancers, such as prostate and colon.

More than Meat

Eat a variety of protein foods, including seafood and plant-based sources, like beans, peas and soy products. Cut down on saturated fat from high fat meats and full-fat dairy products and fried foods. Instead, opt for foods with unsaturated, heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.

Consider working with a registered dietitian nutritionist to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

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