What should Men Eat


eating_cMan cannot live by meat alone. Surveys of eating habits suggest that men eat more meat and far fewer fruits and vegetables than women do. Men usually reach for comfort foods that are warm, hearty and satisfying. Men should be eating better because a bigger waistline can hurt their heart health. Is it possible to eat healthy and still get the satisfaction of "man food"? The answer is yes.

Balancing Act

When it comes to making meat choices, there are two words to remember: moderation and lean.

Moderation: The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than six ounces of lean meat or fish each day. A three-ounce cooked portion of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Here are some examples:

  • 1/2 of a skinless chicken breast or a chicken leg with thigh
  • 3/4 cup of flaked fish
  • Two slices of lean roast beef

Lean: There are 29 cuts of meat that qualify as "lean." The American Heart Association has a list of extra-lean meat choices certified to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol. If you look for the American Heart Association's heart-check mark on food packages, you'll find a growing list of deli meats, beef, chicken, bison, turkey, pork, seafood and more.

What to Eat

An overall heart-healthy eating plan is important. The American Heart Association has simple recommendations:

  • Eat a variety of foods from all food groups and choose vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and fat-free or low-fat dairy products most often.
  • Eat less junk food, i.e., limit foods and drinks high in calories but low in nutrients, and limit saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. This means an average of one to two drinks per day for men.

Men don't have to feel unsatisfied by eating healthy. Eating well can be satisfying and delicious, even for a guy.

Tips for Eating at Steakhouses

Can you eat steak on a heart-healthy diet? You bet, as long as it's a reasonable portion of lean beef.

  • Don't order king-sized cuts. About three ounces of a thinly sliced cut is perfect, or choose a six-ounce steak and enjoy non-meat entrees the rest of the day.
  • Steakhouses generally prepare your food to order, so ask to have all visible fat trimmed before the meat is cooked.
  • Many steakhouses do a superb job with seafood - look for fish on the menu and ask your server about the catch of the day. Research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., salmon, trout and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease.

Instead of - Fatty cuts of meat, such as rib eye, porterhouse, T-bone

Try - Leaner cuts, such as London broil, filet mignon, round or flank steak, sirloin tip, tenderloin

Instead of - French fried, au gratin or scalloped potatoes

Try - Baked potato or rice, easy on the butter

Instead of
- Caesar or marinated salad

Try - Green salad with dressing on the side

Instead of
- Fried vegetables

Try - Steamed vegetables

Instead of
- Pie and ice cream

Try - Angel food cake, sherbet or sorbet

Shop smart! Live well! Look for the heart-check mark!

All products bearing the heart-check mark meet the American Heart Association's nutrition criteria per standard serving size to be:

  • Low in fat (3 grams or less)
  • Low in saturated fat (1 gram or less)
  • Limited in trans fat (less than .5 grams)
  • Low in cholesterol (20 milligrams or less)
  • Moderate in sodium, with 480 milligrams or less for individual foods
  • Contain at least 10 percent of the Daily Value of one or more of these naturally occurring nutrients: protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron or dietary fiber.


  • Seafood, game meat, meat and poultry, as well as whole-grain products, main dishes and meals must meet additional nutritional requirements.


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