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With two-thirds of all Americans either overweight or obese, it comes as little surprise that heart disease ranks as the leading cause of death in the U.S. In an effort to shed weight, millions of Americans have turned to such fad diets as Atkins, South Beach, and Protein Power despite the potential health risks associated with high-protein diets. While these types of diets generally help people lose weight in the short-term, dieters usually end up putting the weight they lost back on within three months due to the severe limits placed on what a they can eat.

High-protein diets help people lose weight by encouraging ketosis, a process in which the body burns fat for fuel. This occurs only after a person has stopped eating carbohydrates and other types of sugary foods the body normally burns for fuel. Because high-protein diets limit the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates, dieters often lose out vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

According to nutritionists, the best kind diets are those that encourage you to eat more, not less. Diets that increase the consumption of healthy foods can not only help you lose weight, but feel better and become more active. As men and women have different body chemistry, it only makes sense that men and women receive the healthiest benefits from eating different types of foods. Here are a number of healthy foods any man should consider adding to his diet.

Lean Meat

Just because high-protein diets aren’t good for the body doesn’t mean men shouldn’t eat meat, as long as it’s lean. Lean cuts of beef and pork are loaded with protein and contain only a few grams more of fat than a skinless chicken breast. Red meat also contains plenty of leucine, a type of amino acid that helps the body build muscle. Since it takes the body longer to breakdown and digest protein, eating a little lean Canadian bacon and an egg in the morning, for example, can keep you full longer so you eat less throughout the day.


What makes dark chocolate so healthy is the tasty treats high level of flavonols, an antioxidant also found in a number of plant-based foods. Studies have shown that eating an ounce of dark chocolate a day can help lower your cholesterol, improve blood flow throughout the body, and regulate blood pressure. Men who suffer from poor blood flow are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, so heart-healthy foods such as chocolate can also help protect a man’s sex life as well. However, eating too much chocolate can lead to weight gain, so make sure to limit your daily consumption to keep from having too much of a good thing.


Shellfish and a variety of other types of seafood are loaded with zinc, which plays a large role in maintaining heart muscles and man’s reproductive system. Studies have even linked zinc deficiency in the body to poor sperm quality and male infertility. If shellfish just isn’t your thing, you can also get plenty of zinc form turkey, chicken, seeds, and nuts.


While it’s true the avocados are high in fat, fortunately it’s the good kind. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat, which can help lower levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Careful not to over do it, however, and limit your total number of calories a day from fat to between 25 percent and 35 percent of your daily total.


Ginger, like cherries, contains a natural anti-inflammatory that can help heal muscles strains and pulls. Studies have suggested that eating ginger regularly can also reduce pain caused by exercise-related muscle injuries. So if you’re the type of guy who likes to stay physical, a little ginger can go a long way to keep you on the court and in the action.


Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that some research suggests can help protect the body from several types of cancer. Studies have also found that men who regularly eat tomato sauce are at a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

Baked Potato

Hearty and healthy, baked potatoes contain a surprisingly high amount of vitamin C, which is an invaluable antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals. A normal part of the body’s metabolism, free radicals can become dangerous at high levels, and have been linked to developing cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

Timothy Lemke is a freelance health writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of Dr. Russell Teasdale, a braces Invisalign Portland, Oregon Elite Preferred Provider.


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