Men, it is important to know the nutritional needs that will promote long-term health which may be somewhat different than women. Along with the well-known larger calorie requirement for men, there are also some specific nutrient differences that apply.

Calories: Men typically have a higher calorie requirement because they are taller and heavier as a general rule. It is important to keep calories at a healthy level, even when trying to lose weight so that nutrient needs are met and muscle is not used for energy.

Protein: Men have a higher muscle mass and lower body fat ratio than women, which requires more protein in a day to keep that muscle strong. To calculate, take weight in kilograms (2.2 lb per 1 kg), multiply that by 1.0-1.2 for standard activity, but 1.4-1.8 for increased activity. The more intense the activity, the greater the protein need.

Micronutrient needs: Men typically do not have the effects on their bodies of reproductive hormones like women do; however, men still need adequate calcium, magnesium, selenium, carotene and vitamin C. Many of these can be met with a diet high in a variety of healthy foods, but selenium and magnesium are prone to deficiency in humans overall and may require supplementation.

Prostate health is a big topic for men. Foods that typically offer the nutrients to help maintain a healthy prostate: cold water fish, Brazil nuts (zinc and selenium), broccoli (sulforaphane and indoles), cayenne (capsaicin), green tea (polyphenols), berries and watermelon (vitamin C and lycopene). All of these foods have many health benefits, including reducing cancer risk and cardiovascular health, and should be part of an overall healthy diet.

We all know that children love to imitate their father, so give them a good example of staying healthy together as a family. Happy Father’s Day!