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Men's Health

Simple Tips To Help Men Tackle Their Worst Health Enemies

Obesity, heart disease and cancer are the three worst enemies to men's health, say nutrition and wellness experts at Amway Nutrilite®; however, you're not completely helpless in preventing them.

More than a third of American men die of heart disease, caused by a build-up of plaque on the inner walls of arteries. Obesity, meanwhile, is associated with high levels of LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, and low HDL, the "good" cholesterol, as well as high blood pressure and diabetes.

And, cancer is expected to strike 630,000 American men this year alone. Lung cancer causes the bulk of cancer deaths (41 percent), while prostate and colon cancer cause 13 percent of cancer deaths in men. Approximately 80 percent of cancer cases are related to diet, smoking, drinking and environmental factors.

Many of the causes of obesity, heart disease and cancer are things you can control by simple choices you make every day, Amway noted. For example, its nutrition and wellness experts, say:

Be sure to eat fruit and vegetables. The National Cancer Institute recommends that adults eat five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables every day. Research shows that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables have the lowest cancer rates.

Balance your calories. At least 55 percent of the calories you consume should come from carbohydrates. If one-quarter of your plate is covered by meat, fish, chicken or beans, and the other three-quarters is covered by fruits, vegetables and grains, your plate is well balanced. Also, a high-fiber diet may help reduce your risk of colon and prostate cancer.

Cut the fat. To reduce your risk of prostate cancer and heart disease, cut back on fried foods, margarine and butter. Drink 2 percent or skim milk. No more than 30 percent of your total calories should come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Following these guidelines can help keep your weight in line, in addition to reducing your risk of prostate cancer and heart disease. You can use food package labels and guide books to find the fat content of foods to help count fat grams.

Eat less red meat. One study showed that men who ate red meat frequently were more than twice as likely to get prostate cancer than those who ate it less than once a month. Red meat also is high in saturated fats.

Be sure to get B vitamins. Good sources of B vitamins are spinach, broccoli, green beans, orange juice and mushrooms, although vitamin B12 is only available in animal-derived foods.

Get more exercise. Exercise helps prevent heart disease, obesity and some cancers. The best choices are aerobic activities like running, brisk walking, swimming and biking. Strength training also is important. And, you'll feel better too! Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

See your doctor. In addition to helping you devise an exercise program and diet that's suited to your needs, your physician can check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, among other things. Regular physical exams can help with early detection of health problems, especially lung, prostate and colon cancers.

© 2001 Health Resources Publishing