You might hit the gym five days a week but if you’re not eating the right foods – you’re sabotaging your fitness and training progress. No matter what age, it’s important that men are paying attention to what they’re putting in their bodies. Whether you’re 30 or 60, eating healthy is the key to staying strong and healthy. And, on the contrary – a poor diet leads to issues such as increased risk of disease, lost muscle mass, weight gain, and it can even shave years off of your life.
And just because a food seems healthy, you might be surprised to find that it’s packed with hidden fats and sugars. So, we’ve compiled a list to help you on your next trip to the grocery store. Here are 5 foods men should make a part of their regular diet and 5 foods they should avoid.
Your health – and training progress – will thank you.
Eat more citrus. Feel free to eat as many oranges and grapefruits as your body desires and they’ll help with your heavy lifting. These wonder fruits are jam-packed with vitamin C which helps lower the risk of degenerative joint conditions.
Eat less fast food. Come on, guys. This one should be a no-brainer. Although more fast food chains are offering healthier options, it’s best to avoid the drive through. Fifty percent of the average fast food cheeseburger’s calories are from fat – and certainly not the good kind.
Eat more Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts are a miracle-worker for men’s hormonal health and can play a crucial role in sexual and reproductive health. Brazil nuts contain selenium which is vital for healthy sperm. A deficiency in selenium can lead to low testosterone or even infertility.
Eat less deli meat. Although meat is a go-to for a protein choice, not all meat is created equal. Be sure to check the ingredients of your sandwich meat before you buy it. Often times it’s made using nitrate preservatives and an ungodly amount of sodium. It’s even been shown that the nitrates and nitrites used in preserved meats are linked to certain cancers.
Eat more fatty fish. Speaking of proteins, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and trout should be a staple in your diet. These fish have high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that are basically magic for your heart. Eating fatty fish a couple times a week will help make sure your ticker is going strong.
Eat less white bread. When white bread is processed, all of the fiber and nutrients are essentially stripped out to create that soft and pillowy texture. What you’re left with is a high-glycemic carb that causes blood sugar levels to skyrocket which can lead to obesity and diabetes.
Eat more leafy greens. Make it a point to have leafy greens in as many meals as possible throughout your week. Greens like kale, spinach, or chard are absolutely loaded with vitamins and minerals. Spinach, for example, is a great source of iron which is a godsend for rebuilding muscle tissue after a training session.
Eat less artificial sweeteners. Sugar-free items are not always healthier. The sugar is often replaced by artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or sucralose which have been linked to increased risk of cancer. Plus, they can actually increase your cravings for even more sugar.
Eat more cottage cheese. Low-fat cottage has high amounts of casein which is a slow-digesting dairy protein. Casein is excellent at helping build and repair muscle. Not to mention, cottage cheese sometimes contains active and live cultures which help the absorption of nutrients in your gut, helping you perform better and longer in your fitness and training sessions.
Eat less fried food. Much like fast food, it’s best that you just steer clear of fried foods. Oil in itself might not be bad for a man’s health, but once it’s fried, the oil denatures and it instantly becomes dangerous for your heart. When you’re out to eat, opt for a side salad instead of those French fries.