July 4th is coming up and as legions of guys all over the country put on their aprons, pick up their tongs and head out to BBQ sausages, burgers and steak for friends and family, it’s worth remembering that this month is Men’s Health Month.
Unlike women, men tend to be notoriously bad at both eating their greens and in getting themselves to the doctor for regular check-ups. We figured that as they’re getting ready to knock back a few beers and fire up the grill, this might be a good time for a reminder that according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) certain lifestyle factors can adversely affect cancer risk to the point where they estimate that the risk of many of the most common cancers that affect men, including colorectal and prostate, could be reduced if we change certain behaviors and:
- Get more regular exercise, 10,000 steps a day
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables – 3 servings of non- starchy veggies and 2 of fresh whole fruits every day
- Eat more lean meats like poultry and fish. Cut back on red meat. A portion should be 3-6 ounces, up to 18 ounces a week
- Cut out processed meats. Say goodbye to bacon and hot dogs!
- Eat more whole grains and legumes. Cut back on processed refined foods
- Cut out sugary sodas and beverages
- Cut back on alcohol –don’t overdo it
- Keep a healthy weight.
Now we don’t want to be total killjoys. We can’t eat like it’s July 4th everyday, but it’s OK to drink a beer or two now and then and we can to eat up to 18 ounces of red meat a week, though not all in one go. But guys, for your own wellbeing we cannot recommend getting off the couch and eating your greens highly enough. And get regular check-ups with your doctor. Don’t wait until you think something’s wrong. Outcomes are better when cancers are caught early. If you need convincing, read our article by Steve Fisher whose own cancer was found at a routine check-up.
It’s not that hard to eat better, just take it one bite at a time. These days trope of veggies being boring rabbit food is totally out of date. Trust us, it’s easier than you think to make them a tasty, integral part of a man friendly diet. Check it out. Be good to yourself. Give it a try!