Category Archives: men

Factoring in Fiber

Whole-grains, dried fruit, and legumes can help you meet your dietary requirements for fiber.

When you think of an enticing meal, what do you imagine?  Flank steak and roasted red skin potatoes?  Or broasted chicken and creamed-corn?  Now envision a meal composed mainly of naturally fiber-rich foods.  Are you picturing a meal that would be considered a temptation to the palate?  My guess for a great number of individuals the answer is no.  For many, the suggestion of increasing daily fiber intake triggers boring thoughts of eating a bowl full of tasteless bran flakes – not a very exciting proposition to some.  Perhaps that, along with the gastrointestinal discomfort that can be associated with consuming too much fiber or increasing its intake too quickly, can explain why many of us consume less than half of the recommended daily amount.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies suggests that adults ages 50 years and younger consume 25 grams of fiber per day for women and 38 grams of fiber per day for men.  Women and men over the age of 50 years should eat 21 and 30 grams of fiber per day, respectively, as a result of eating fewer total calories.  A general goal for adults is to try to consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories ingested daily.

What are the recommendations for fiber intake of children?

  • 1-3 years = 19 grams/day
  • 4-8 years = 25 grams/day
  • 9-13 years = 26 grams/day for females, 31 grams/day for males
  • 14-18 = 26 grams/day for females, 38 grams/day for males
  • According to some sources, a general rule of thumb for calculating your child’s daily fiber intake is to add 5 to his or her age in years.  For example, a 6 year-old would need about 11 grams of fiber per day.

Fiber can be classified as either soluble or insoluble.  Soluble fiber dissolves in water, whereas insoluble fiber does not.  Foods rich in soluble fiber include oat bran, brown rice, barley, and certain fruits (e.g., plums) and vegetables (e.g., broccoli).  Whole- grain cereals and breads, wheat and corn bran, nuts, and seeds are examples of sources rich in insoluble fiber.

Adding fiber-rich foods to your diet offers many health benefits.  These include:

  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Reduced risk for heart disease
  • Better blood sugar control in diabetics
  • Improved digestive tract health
  • Decreased risk for certain cancers (e.g., colon)
  • Weight management

How can you tell what is a good source of fiber?  According to the National Fiber Council, foods that offer more than 5 grams of fiber per serving are considered to be high-fiber sources. Those that contribute 2.5-4.9 grams of fiber per serving are classified as a good source.  Products that claim to have added fiber should provide at least 2.5 grams more  fiber beyond what would be traditionally present in the food.

To make your transition to a high-fiber diet more tolerable, follow these tips:

  • Gradually increase your fiber intake – adding too much too soon can lead to symptoms of bloating, cramping, and flatulence.
  • Increase fluid intake, particularly water, to avoid constipation (fiber absorbs water from your gastrointestinal tract).

A fiber-rich diet does not have to lack flavor.  Some suggestions to boost your family’s fiber intake include:

  • Toast slices of whole-grain bread and top with mashed banana.
  • Turn your cottage cheese into a parfait by alternating layers of it with dried fruit and nuts.
  • Add whole-oats to your favorite baked good recipe.
  • Add a small can of pureed pumpkin or sweet potato to a recipe for homemade mac and cheese.

How do you boost your family’s fiber intake?  Share with us, we want to know!

Sources:

Instititute of Medicine

National Fiber Council

KidsHealth

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Filed under children, family, fiber, health, men, women

Simply Sunday – Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day from the Health and Food Forum’s Blog.  Today on Simply Sunday the focus is men’s health.  Below are some interesting statistics released this month in the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) publcation, U.S. Men Report:  Changes in Self-Reported Health Behaviors and Chronic Conditions from 1999 to 2009.

  • Men account for 49.3% of the U.S. population.
  • Binge drinking and tobacco use has declined while the presence of diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension have increased among U.S. men.
  • The number of men engaging in regular moderate-intensity exercise has increased.
  • The number of men who eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day has slightly decreased.

The U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services recommend the following to men to promote their health:

  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Get physically active
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Maintain an appropriate body weight
  • Get proper health screenings
  • Take preventative medicines as recommended/prescribed by your health care practitioner

What are you doing to stay healthy?  Share with use, we want to know!

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Sweet and Savory Saturday – Broiled Salmon with Raspberry-Apricot Glaze

Broiled Salmon with Raspberry-Apricot Glaze served on a bed of mixed-greens is a great way to show the dad in your life you care on Father's Day.

Are you looking for a healthy Father’s Day meal to serve?  If so, try this recipe for Broiled Salmon with Raspberry-Apricot Glaze.  Salmon is a good source of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, Vitamin B12, and potassium.  Pair it with Grilled Garlic Bread (recipe from Seared Food Blog*) and serve it on a bed of mixed-greens tossed with dried apricots and aged gouda cheese and you have a meal that lets the dad in your life know you care about him this Father’s Day.

Ingredients:

Salmon

  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Place salmon on large plate.  Rub garlic and sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over salmon fillets. Cover and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile preheat the broiler and prepare the Raspberry-Apricot Glaze.

Raspberry-Apricot Glaze

  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 TBS dark amber honey
  • 1/2 -3/4 TBS steak sauce (amount based on taste preference)
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed

In a small sauce pan, combine first four ingredients and cook on medium-low heat until it just begins to boil.  Reduce heat, add garlic, and simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Set aside.

Preparation

Coat broiling pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Place salmon fillets on broiling pan.  Broil for 2-3 minutes.  Spoon Raspberry-Apricot Glaze over the fillets.  Broil for 4-5 more minutes or until salmon flakes when tested with a fork.  Serve with Grilled Garlic Bread over a bed of mixed-greens tossed with pieces of dried apricots and aged gouda cheese. Note: I used an indoor grill set at a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit to make my grilled garlic bread.

What are you serving for dinner this Father’s Day?  Share with us, we want to know!

*Seared Food Blog has switched sites.  If you cannot access recipe from link above try this link Seared.

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Filed under Father's Day, Father's Day Meal, healthy food, homemade meals, men, omega-3 fatty acids, Recipes, salmon

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Easy Father’s Day Dessert

A broiled peach topped with reduced-fat ice cream makes for a healthier, yet sweetly satisfying, dessert.

I decided to get a little “peachy” with the Father’s Day dessert this year.  My choice? Broiled peaches with reduced-fat vanilla ice cream.  Why? I wanted to make something that could be prepared in individual servings to prevent overindulging on leftovers later (as would happen with me and a pie).  Yet, I wanted the dessert to be satisfying enough that there wasn’t a residing feeling of being “cheated” out of dessert.

I used my Evincii/PICKKA “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to help me find the right ice cream and granola for my goals.  My first choice for ice cream fell into the “Not Too Bad” category.  I wasn’t pleased with this.  I wanted an ice cream that fell into a healthier category because the main course would be higher in calories because of the special occasion.  Therefore, I used the “View Healthy Alternatives” option of the app and found an ice cream that was categorized as a “Good Choice.”  Next, I used my “Eat This?” app to find granola.  My choice fell in the “OK Choice,” but I saw on my app that three other consumers gave it a five star taste rating.  Because only 1 tsp would be served to each individual, I decided it was an acceptable choice, especially since other purchasers indicated it was tasty.

I decided to use fresh peaches, rather than canned.  Although most of the recipes that I have come across for broiled peaches require you to sprinkle sugar and/or butter on the peach halves prior to broiling, I decided against it.  I chose to rely on the natural sweetness of the peaches combined with the creaminess of the ice-cream to give appeal to this dessert.  Therefore, I broiled the peaches “au natural.”  Here is how I prepared the dessert:

Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe peaches, cut in half, pits removed, and skin left on (use more peaches if serving more than 6 people; figure a 1/2 peach per person)
  • Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (enough for one scoop per person)
  • Reduced-fat Granola (1 tsp per person)
  • Cinnamon (enough for garnish)
  • Honey (about 1/2 TBS per person)

Preparation

Preheat the broiler.  Wash and pat dry peaches.  Carefully slice each peach in half and remove the pit.  Place peaches, cut-side up, on broiler pan lined with aluminum foil.  Place in the oven about 3 inches from the heat.  Cook until juices start to bubble and peaches are browned (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes.  Place peaches on individual dessert plates.  Scoop reduced-fat vanilla ice cream on top of each peach half.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and granola.  Drizzle honey over the top.  Serve immediately.

What will you be serving for dessert this Father’s Day?  Will you use your “Eat This?” app to help you find the right ingredients?  Share with us, we want to know!

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Filed under dessert, easy meals, Eat This?, Father's Day, Father's Day Dessert, fruit, gourmet, healthy food, homemade meals, low-fat, men, PICKKA, Recipes

A Focus on Men’s Health by Guest Blogger Steve Jasper

Men’s Health Week By Steve Jasper

Every year, Men’s Health Week falls on the seven days prior to Father’s Day. The significance of this event would mean nothing without first realizing that one’s health is not only a measure of the lifestyle you lead, but how you stay in shape as well. A fraction of men are regular gym-goers who work out tirelessly with exercise equipment in order to keep their bodies healthy and active. Men realize that working out serves a more important function than just building muscles. Working out can help you improve your body image, self confidence, and even add years to your life.

Men’s Health Week (June 14-20th) is a week of awareness involving health issues and diseases for men that easily can be averted with early action, treatment, and healthy prevention. It’s no coincidence that Men’s Health Week leads right up to Father’s Day because Father’s Day is where we celebrate a man we love and wish nothing but health and happiness to. Many men understand the importance of adhering to a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruit and vegetables, whole-grains, low- and nonfat dairy products, and lean meat choices.  Yet, how can more men be proactive in staying healthy and avoiding illness and heath issues? Well, a good place to start is to be educated about how to use the gym, and exactly how important it is to do so. A better knowledge of how to properly exercise is integral to fighting obesity and improving your health.

The list of ailments that go along with obesity is almost endless: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, respiratory problems, and even cancer all have higher incidence rates in the obese. This is scary enough, but looking at the statistics, it’s even more frightening. The Journal of the American Medical Association states that 72 percent of men over the age of 20 are considered to be overweight or obese while 32 percent are dangerously obese. This is too much- especially when studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have shown that physical activity may greatly reduce the risk of both obesity and most health conditions in men.

There are plenty of great foods men can eat that will not only improve their exercise performance and overall fitness, but help them to be healthier and avoid obesity as well. Incorporating foods like blueberries (which are loaded with antioxidants) and sardines (not for everyone, but they are nutritious) can change a man’s attitude and drive. Additionally, other great foods men can snack on are nuts, which are full of vitamin E. Rice is also a good source for your vitamins, potassium and zinc. Even smaller foods are great to add to your diet in order to make things run smoothly. For example, sesame seeds are great for a man’s sex drive because they are rich in amino acids. Amino acids, as you may know, are the building blocks for your body’s proteins. Eating the right food can even affect your mood, which has been seen with edamame (or soy beans), for example. When you are fulfilling your dietary needs, you are less likely to succumb to binges on junk foods. Getting on the right diet and eating foods that help maintain a healthy body is one of the most important steps a man can take towards staying healthy and avoiding obesity. Of course, the other half of the equation is keeping a good workout routine.

Depending on who you ask, going to the gym may either seem like a hobby or a chore, but following those routines are important to staying fit and healthy for men everywhere. Now, we all come up with excuses as to why we can’t work out. When polled, the biggest reason men gave for not being able to exercise is, “not enough time.” The best way to overcome this hurdle is by getting your hands on one of your own personal home gyms. When you factor in the time it takes to travel back and forth from your fitness center, the gas money spent to do so, and the various membership fees, a home gym starts to look like a very reasonable option. And if you are more likely to work out regularly on your home gym than you are at your club, then all the more reason to pick one up.

How do you or the man in your life stay in shape?  Do you have a personal home gym?  What do you eat to help fuel your exercise?  Share with us, we want to know!

About the Author:

Steve Jasper is not a medical expert. If you have any serious medical concerns, please consult a qualified medical professional before undertaking a new fitness regimen. Steve is a contributing blogger from Gymsource who writes an all topics related to fitness equipment and much more.

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