Attention all men! Celebrate your health this month and make small changes for an even healthier, and possibly longer, life. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number 1 cause of death in men is heart disease, which accounts for over 27 percent of deaths in all males of all ages. Here are four simple steps you can take this month to improve your health, well-being and longevity:
- Focus on moderation and variety – you need over 40 nutrients every day for optimal health and no single food can provide all of them. Aim to fill your plate with different foods from different food groups each day.
- Eat foods low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol – these nutrients can lead to heart disease, so know your fats! However, that doesn’t mean giving up meat, eggs or even sweet treats – just eat them all in moderation.
- Increase whole grains, fruits and vegetables – all three are rich in carbohydrates (for energy) and fiber (for digestive health). Did you know that males in the United States, on average, get less than half of the recommended amount of fiber? If you’re under 50 years old, aim for 38 grams of fiber. If you’re over 50 years old, aim for 30 grams.
- Shake the sodium and salt habit – sodium is another player in heart disease. When choosing canned or processed foods, make sure to read the nutrition facts label and look for lower sodium varieties of all your favorites.
Following these four steps, along with increasing physical activity and quitting smoking can all improve your health and longevity.