When we search ‘what is a balanced diet’ most of the time, you will likely see a generalised answer to your questions. This answer though, does not take into consideration people ages, genders and even their dietary needs. In this series of blogs, we will be focusing on what makes a balanced diet for every type of person. If you have not already, check out our blog on ‘A Balanced Diet for Vegan’, once you have finished here.
This week we are focusing on what makes a balanced diet for men, and what difference practises you need to do to accomplish a balanced diet.
What is a Balanced Diet?
Just as a recap, a balanced diet consists of what foods your body needs to maintain its ability to function correctly throughout the day. When you look to have a balanced diet, you want to consume the following in your daily intake:
- Fruits & Vegetables
To start with, let us look at the calories that men need in a day. This can vary depending on how active you are and your ages. The following guidelines are:
- Active men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,800 to 3,200 calories
- Sedentary men ages 14 to 30 years: 2,000 to 2,600 calories
- Active men over 30 years: 2,000 to 3,000 calories
- Sedentary men over 30 years: 1,600 to 2,400 calories
These are only guidelines, and sometimes it is best to figure out a plan that works best for yourself, so you are consuming and release the same amount or more energy.
We can all get the answers to what you need to eat for a balanced diet, but how much do you need to eat to be balanced. If you are looking for the positions, sizes and intake you as a man, you should be eating daily, this should help you have a rough idea:
Energy – 2500 kcal
All food now must show the number of calories it has on the packaging. You can also download apps and websites that will help you keep track the food intake through the day.
Protein – 55g
Such as meat, fish, tofu and poultry, which you should be trying to consume in every meal, which the position being around the size of a palm of your hand.
Carbohydrates - 300g
For instance, cereal, rice, pasta or potato. It would be best if you included a carbohydrate in every meal but be sure for it not to fill more than a ¼ of the plate, roughly around a clenched fist is good.
Sugar – 120g
We all need to treat ourselves once in a while, so baking brownies and flapjacks means you know all the ingredients that are in your treats. Why not use protein powder in your treats! As for position sides, you are looking to have about two fingers worth of treats.
Fat – 95g
An example of fat you can consume in nuts and seeds. You can have these as a snack or part of your meal, but you are looking to eat around1 cupped hand of these a day.
Saturates – 30g
If you are looking for a balanced diet, try eating around two thumb size amounts of saturates a meal or as part of a snack.
Top Tips For Men to Follow
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential as being overweight can have detrimental effects on not only your body, such as heart disease and certain types of cancer, strokes, and type 2 diabetes and fertility problems. Not only this but being overweight can also cause unhappiness and mental health issues which is a rising problem amongst men today. Here are some top tips to help improve this within your life today:
- Consume more fibre – eating more fibre, and whole-grain foods can help keep you fuller during the day, meaning you eat less, and it is good for you! Some of the foods may include; brown rice, wholemeal bread and whole-wheat pasta’s.
- Keep track of your red meat intake – it is suggested you eat no more than 500g of red meat a week which works out around 70g a day.
- Cut down on saturated fats – although rather self-explanatory some people struggle to notice a heavy use of saturated fats through their week of eating which can be way over the standard limit.
- Eat more fish – try to consume at least two portions of fish a week. (Note: Must be oily fish, e.g. salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines)
- Try to eat more fruit and veg – as the old saying goes “5 a day keeps the doctor away!”
- Be careful of salt intake – aim for less than 6g a day.
- Keep Active throughout the week; you should be aiming for at least 2.5 hours of exercise a week.
- Limit alcohol intake to just 14 units a week if you can. This can be done by swapping out drinks for non-alcoholic alternatives.
Most importantly seek help if you need it – if you are worried about any aspect of your health, do not keep quiet, speak to your GP.