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June 19, 2013

Men's Health

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

The month of June is all about the guys. It features Father's Day, and it's Men's Health Month, too. Healthy living is the key to looking good and feeling energetic at work and at play.

Men's Health Must-Knows

Here are some facts every man and his loved ones should know.

• Men develop heart disease earlier in life and may live with the condition longer. Several factors contribute to heart disease, including uncontrolled high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol levels and being overweight. 

• About 36% of men are overweight or obese.  Research suggests that being overweight or obese increases the risk of heart attack in middle-aged men. In addition, men tend to carry their extra weight in their abdominal area, which is another risk factor for heart disease.

• Osteoporosis affects men, too. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (link), men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.

Men's Health Strategies

• Go for balance. Let MyPlate ( be your guide to better eating, a healthier weight, and a reduced risk for several chronic conditions. Pile half your plate with fruits and vegetables, about one-quarter of it with grains, and the rest with lean protein foods. Don't forget to include 8 ounces of Hood Milk , yogurt, or Greek yogurt at every meal - your bones will thank you for it!

• Enjoy your food. Healthy eating does not have to be boring - just balanced! MyPlate recommends enjoying your favorite foods in reasonable portions. Do you love chocolate, bacon, or Hood Cream ? No problem; just make sure you account for the calories in everything you eat in your daily calorie allowance to maintain or lose weight.  Treats are allowed! On Father's Day, celebrate with this creamy chocolate pudding.

Stay active. Research suggests that regular exercise strengthens bones, and may lower your chances for heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions. Any physical activity, such as a 15-minute walk, is better than none. Increasing the intensity and duration of exercise offers additional health benefits, however. 

Get regular check-ups! Many health conditions are managed better when diagnosed early enough. It's not safe to wait until dangerous symptoms appear to speak with a physician. Talk to your doctor about regular screening tests for common health conditions that men face. Discuss you lifestyle habits with your doctor to prevent serious health conditions.



Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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