Men’s Nutrition

While all humans have common nutritional needs, the needs can differ between men and women because of structural differences between the two. Here are some tips to make sure you get the nutrition you need.

Men often need more calories a day than women do. Men tend to be heavier, and more of their mass tends to be muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat does. So to meet your basic nutritional needs, you should eat approximately 2500 calories a day, unless instructed otherwise.

Men also need more protein a day than women do. Protein needs are generally calculated per kilogram of body weight, and as previously stated, men generally weigh more than women do. Furthermore, men also have more muscle mass than women do, and therefore your protein needs will be higher. However, the typical American diet provides more than enough protein to meet your needs.

Men need less iron than women do, primarily because they do not have the monthly iron loss caused by menstruation. However, a little extra iron will do you no harm. But if you have a typical diet, you probably will not need to buy a special multivitamin with iron added, because most cereals are fortified and red meat contains a considerable amount.

Men need more fiber daily than women do. For one thing, typical male diets tend to contain less fiber than women’s do. Secondly, the gastrointestinal tract tends to be somewhat wider than women’s, and therefore it takes more volume to get it all scrubbed out.

Make sure you get enough zinc for prostate health. The prostate is a surprisingly important part of your body, because it produces the seminal fluid. While it is not strictly speaking necessary for survival, it contributes significantly to the quality of life, and later in life, it can be prone to inflammation (prostatitis) or cancer, which can need surgery and intense drug or radiation therapy. Getting a sufficient supply of zinc can both boost your immune system and aid in reducing the likelihood of cancer.

Be cautious about soy. Foods that are made from soybeans are often targeted at women and are enriched in the phytoestrogens that are normally found in them, but these can have negative effects on male health in high amounts. Eating normal servings of regular tofu several times a week will not result in problems, but drinking three big glasses of isoflavone-enriched soy milk every day may cause some issues, including the possible exacerbation of some cancers.

Since so much of the discussion about a healthy diet today does not differentiate between the needs of women and men, if you can meet those recommendations, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the needs of your specific body. It is particularly important to meet your own body’s needs; if you happen to be five feet tall and slender, you probably won’t need 2500 calories a day; if you happen to be seven feet tall and very muscular, you will likely need far more.