Man grocery shopping and choosing more fruits and vegetables for better health

Health is wealth. Taking care of your body is the best investment you can make. Healthy living ensures that you can do well at work, at home and at play. Eating wholesome and nutritious food improves your health and also helps you perform at your peak and stay well for life. Here are some simple men’s daily health tips to help you eat right through your busy schedule:

Eat to Perform

Working demands constant and unwavering attention for 8 to 12 or more hours each day. To cope with the physical and mental demands for energy at work and have some more to spare for family and friends, surely one needs to eat wisely. Here are a few pointers to get you going:

1. Stay hydrated

Sixty to sixty-five percent of your body is made of water. Water carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body and carries away the wastes to be discharged. Water is the medium in which most of the chemical reactions which take place in our body occur and so, even mild dehydration affects your body's ability to work optimally.

Water is found in the fluids we drink and also the food we eat. Drinking plain water is a great way to help meet your daily fluid needs. Keep a water bottle beside your table at work and carry one with you when you set out to exercise.

You’ve probably asked this common health question before. “How much water should we drink every day?" As a rule of thumb, you should be drinking enough so that you urinate several times a day, and your urine is pale and odour-free. If your pee is dark-coloured and smells, you need to drink more.

2. Energise with regular meals and snacks


Wake up to a healthy breakfast comprising of whole grains to fuel your day, lean protein for greater satiety, fresh fruit for a vitamin, mineral and fibre boost and low-fat dairy products for a calcium top-up. Healthy breakfast menus include wholemeal cheese sandwich accompanied with a fruit yoghurt or multi-grain ready-to-eat cereal with raisins and low-fat milk.

Take time out for lunch to refuel at mid-day. Whether you eat at your workplace cafeteria, hawker stalls or restaurants, make every effort to pick a healthier meal. Do not be intimidated by your colleagues who buy greasy, sodium-packed or sugar-laden popular food. If you do not have easy access to healthier choices, bring a packed lunch from home.

In between meals, snack on small portions of nourishing food like fruit, cereal bars, mini sandwiches and low-fat yoghurt instead of junk food to keep your blood sugar within the range. This helps you concentrate and perform difficult mental tasks.

After work, use your dinner meal to make up for nutrient shortfalls you have built up through the day. If you did indulge in a higher fat lunch, now focus on steamed and grilled food. If you are short of fresh fruits and vegetables, top up now.

If you have to entertain, take your guests to a restaurant that serves healthier dishes (look under Themes> Health> Healthier Eateries). Order items tagged Healthier Choice on the menu to pick dishes that not only look good but are also better for you.

Avoid skipping or delaying meals. Missing meals deprives you of your chance to include valuable nutrients in your diet. Delaying meals creates hunger. Once you are hungry, you cannot be logical about making healthier food choices.

3. Eat well-balanced meals


Overeating can lead to unhealthy weight gain and expanding waist size. Use My Healthy Plate to guide the types and portions of food you put on your plate. This will help you consume all the nutrients you need in the right amount each day.

Not all carbs are bad for you. Whole grains, such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholegrain cereals are nutritious choices and can replace refined carbs such as white rice and white bread. Select lean proteins to complement your meals and, add on plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Limit fatty meat, poultry skin, full-fat dairy products, palm-based vegetable oils and hydrogenated plant oils like hard margarine, as well as products made with them, as they push up the bad cholesterol levels. Use unsaturated oils (e.g. canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and olive oils), nuts and seeds in small portions to provide essential fats in your diet. Try not to douse your food with salt or sauces. And, use just a little sugar or syrup to flavour your desserts and beverages. Instead, pep up your food choices with natural herbs and spices.

Eat to Beat Stress

Stress is a part of life; it can energise us or tire us out. Some respond to stress by eating more, while others, just stop eating. Both ends of the eating spectrum are not healthy. Pick up other ways to cope with stress for better mental health. Talk with a friend, go for a walk or pick up meditation.

Optimal nourishment will help your body cope with the demands of a stressful life. So, eat a healthy and well-balanced diet all the time.

More working adults now unwind after a hard day's work by socialising at the pub. Binging on the spirits to relieve stress will land you with a hefty hangover, among other health issues. At each sitting, limit alcohol intake to no more than three standard drinks. A standard drink is a can (220 ml) of beer, 1 glass (100 ml) of wine or 1 nip (30 ml) of spirits. Alcohol can also affect our sexual health, so we should always drink in moderation, or abstain from it altogether.

Eat to Prevent Disease

Men are living longer today than ever before. Healthy eating through life will not only let you live longer, but it will also go a long way to prevent or at least delay chronic lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

A healthy diet combined with regular exercise (aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week) will also help aid weight loss.

For those of us who are overweight, we are at higher risk of the above-mentioned chronic diseases, as many health conditions have been shown to be linked to obesity. Thus, it is important for us to maintain a healthy weight and watch our waist sizes if we want to live longer and live healthier.

Here are three tried and tested health tips to lower your risk:

  1. Eat a wide variety of different food, with My Healthy Plate as the foundation to guide the amount and types of food you eat.
  2. Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
  3. Have less fat (especially saturated and trans fats), cholesterol, salt, added sugars and alcohol in your diet.

Remember These Daily Health Tips for Better Men’s Health

  • Hydrate your body and eat a well-balanced diet, spaced out through regular meals and snacks, to meet the physical and mental demands of your working day.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit intake to no more than three standard drinks each day.
  • Eat to prevent chronic lifestyle-related diseases now. Include wholegrain food, vegetables, fruit, beans and lentils; and limit fat (especially saturated and trans fats), cholesterol, salt, sugar and alcohol in your diet.

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