Nothing in this article is meant to be medical advice. Please consult your own healthcare provider. 

Some info below taken from:

June is Men’s Health Month, and in the U.S., men still do not live as long as women, on the average.

Health and Human Services tells us, “Because of poor health habits, lack of health insurance, failure to seek medical attention and dangerous occupations, men live sicker and die younger than women.” Heart health is still of major concern for both men and women.

We in Idyllwild tend to pride ourselves on healthful lifestyles. Nevertheless, a few facts and tips may be worth reviewing.

Good nutrition is a factor in heart health. Men should be aware of the basic tips for eating healthfully and protecting their hearts from disease. Following are a few to begin your conversation with your healthcare provider.

Be moderate with sugars and certain fats. Avoid saturated and trans-fat, also known as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fat. Trans-fat was industrially created to improve food shelf life. Very unhealthful stuff in the body, though, and does not improve human life. With sugars, they are found in some of the most fun foods such as pastries, pizza dough, cookies and margarine. Be strong and just say no!

In general, shun high fat, high sodium and high caloric foods. Watch out for non-nutritious high-fructose corn syrup. The sugar content per serving is astronomical in this additive. Many food producers just slop it into anything they can. Often, it’s even the first ingredient.  Always read the food labels.

Believe it or not, alcoholic beverages can be a problem in heart disease. HHS states that more than two drinks per day raises blood pressure and increases your caloric intake.

What to do then?

Do eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. In my opinion, organic is best if you can get it at reasonable prices. Dark, green, leafy vegetables are superior in respect to nutrients and fiber. Lettuce doesn’t truly fall into this category; think collards, kale, chards, spinach. Include the green tops of root vegetables such as carrots and beets. The unsung beet is a terrific food.

Remember how your mama used to tell you to eat your breakfast? Mom was right-on. HHS reports, “People who eat a healthy breakfast tend to eat less during the rest of the day, have lower cholesterol, and are able to concentrate better at work and at home.” Eating whole-grain ingredients at breakfast is your best bet for non-fluctuating healthful blood-sugar levels for hours after you’ve eaten. There’s a no-brainer.

Home-cooking is generally lower in calories, sugars and fats than restaurant or packaged foods. Obviously, it’s more economical, as well.

Eat unsaturated fats and oils such as olive, canola, corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, peanut, avocado and sesame. Include fatty acids such as Omega-3, Omega-6 found in salmon, mackerel, flax and borage.

The Mediterranean-type diet incorporates many of these healthful ingredients, making it a favorite with nutritionists and health researchers.

Callie Wight is a California state-licensed registered nurse with a Master of Arts in psychology.