5 Optimum (Science-Based) Tips For Men New to Nutrition
The world of diets is bullshit for everybody, but especially for men. This is because most online nutrition advice is aimed at women, and secondly, because it is only lifestyle change that will give you the physical, mental and spiritual benefits diets promise but never deliver.
While this is the reality, the nutrition world runs on dodgy marketing and often the truth just isn’t sexy enough to sell the latest diet plan sponsored by the latest Hollywood cretin or Instagram idiot.
Hence, this piece looks at actual diet changes you can make that are based on research.
No bias here, just the findings of recent studies that you can apply to your lifestyle with immediate effect.
1. Cut Out Carbs!
One of the biggest stonking lies we’ve been told is that we need lots of carbs in our diet.
In reality, we need only a little carb intake, usually in the morning, to power us through the day.
Carbs are basically energy and in our modern fat lives we plough down endless bread and pasta and demonise fat as that which makes you obese – not true.
It is excess carbs that the body stores as energy in the form of fat, and as soon as you cut them out you will get in shape FAST.
Further, a recent study from Bispebjerg Hospital, Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen, stated that implementing a high-protein low-carb diet also heals the liver and protects you against Type 2 Diabetes.
As carbs are broken down into glucose, a form of sugar, in our system, imbibing excess carbs can have dreadful effects on blood sugar levels.
In turn, this screws up your physical system, but also your mental states, leading to dizziness, hyperactivity and eventually big fat lulls in mood.
However, the study showed that if individuals eat food with reduced carbohydrate content and an increased share of protein and fat, blood sugar issues disappear.
2. Eat Plant-Based Foods!
Don’t worry, I’m not saying you need to have a diet of mung beans and tofu, so just hear me out.
Plant-based foods have been getting some extremely good coverage of late as their healing properties for pretty much every single condition, from tiredness to cancer, are being proven.
Recovering Man recently spoke with health expert, pharmacist and pant-based advocate Michal Lada, who thoroughly explained the science behind plant-based eating in a pretty fascinating way. Check it out below:
Michal Lada is not alone in his findings, either, a recent study published in the Journal of American Heart Health found that eating mostly plant-based foods was linked to better heart health.
As I promised, this doesn’t mean giving up meat as lead researcher in the study Casey M. Rebholz, Ph.D points out:
“While you don’t have to give up foods derived from animals completely, our study does suggest that eating a larger proportion of plant-based foods and a smaller proportion of animal-based foods may help reduce your risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other type of cardiovascular disease.”
3. Eat Leafy Greens
So if you are going to up your intake of plant-based foods and clean up your act, make sure you eat loads and loads of leafy greens.
Leafy greens are what are ancestors ate when they traversed the lands for weeks on end waiting to find a mammoth to slaughter, so our bodies love the green goodness inside vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale.
Such vegetables are simply full of minerals, antioxidants and vitamins to give you a major boost.
Further still, preliminary findings from a new study reveal that inadequate vegetable consumption accounts for millions of deaths from heart disease and strokes each year.
The study estimated that roughly 1 in 12 cardiovascular deaths could be attributed to not eating enough vegetables.
4. If You Need a Treat, Eat DARK Chocolate (And I Mean Dark)
I get it, we all need a treat sometimes, especially after a long week of stead eating, working hard and getting after it.
However, we need to stop buying the lie that sweets, milk chocolate and copious amounts of booze are a treat. They aren’t.
Such things are just marketed as a way to ‘have fun’ and they prey on lost people through billion-dollar marketing campaigns to keep us thinking this way.
All these really are is just different forms of sugar, which is just as addictive as nicotine, and just as bad for us too.
However, there is a solution to this, and that is antioxidant-rich dark chocolate which, when eaten in moderation, is actually very good for you.
Further still, as sweets and milk chocolate are famed for giving you the short-term sugar high followed by the long-term lull, dark chocolate actually fends off depression.
This is according to a study from University College London that stated that eating dark chocolate positively affects mood and relieves depressive symptoms.
According to the study, this is because dark chocolate has a higher concentration of flavonoids and antioxidant chemicals which have been shown to improve inflammatory profiles which play a key role in the onset of depression.
Now I know you’re used to the hyper-saccharine form of chocolate at present, but trust me on this one, I made the switch a few years back and after a couple of weeks I really did prefer the dark version.
The advice is to enjoy dark chocolate like a fine wine and let it melt on the tongue, not scoff it like a monster, so bear that in mind when you try it!
5. Nail Blueberries – The Super-Superfood!
Eating a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk factors for cardiovascular disease and repairs injuries, according to new research led by the University of East Anglia, in collaboration with colleagues from Harvard University.
The team set out to see whether eating blueberries had any effect on Metabolic Syndrome – a condition, affecting 1/3 of westernized adults, which comprises at least three of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, low levels of ‘good cholesterol’ and high levels of triglycerides.
Lead researcher Prof Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Having Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and often statins and other medications are prescribed to help control this risk.
“It’s widely recognised that lifestyle changes, including making simple changes to food choices, can also help.
“Previous studies have indicated that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“This may be because blueberries are high in naturally occurring compounds called anthocyanins, which are the flavonoids responsible for the red and blue colour in fruits.”
Co-lead, Dr Peter Curtis, said: “We found that eating one cup of blueberries per day resulted in sustained improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness – making enough of a difference to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 12 and 15%.
“The simple and attainable message is to consume one cup of blueberries daily to improve cardiovascular health.”
And there you go, lads. Now get in some steak, broccoli and blueberries!