A Man's Guide to Balanced Nutrition

Fad diets come and go. But eating right doesn't have to be complicated. "The best diet known to man—a diet that can help you lose weight, build muscle, and live longer—is simple," says Alan Aragon, M.S., the Men's Health nutrition advisor. "Eat mostly whole and minimally processed foods, and start cooking at home more often." But just how much of these foods should you eat? Hit the goals shown here, and you'll accelerate your path to optimal health.

Nuts

1 to 2 servings per day

What They Do

  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fight cancer

Macadamia nuts: Best combo of monounsaturated fatty acids and zinc

1 serving = ? cup nuts or seeds, or 2 Tbsp nut butter.

Eggs

1 to 2 servings per day

What They Do

  • Aid muscle function
  • Build muscle
  • Improve blood pressure

1 serving = 1 egg.

Healthy Fats

1 to 2 servings per day

What They Do

  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fight cancer

Olive oil: Best combo of high monounsaturated fatty acids and good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids

1 serving = 2 Tbsp oil, ? small avocado, 2 g fish oil, or 1 pat butter

Quick Ideas:

Grapeseed oil: Use it for high-heat cooking (such as stir-frying) or as your go-to oil for grilling.

Avocado: Halve an avocado, fill it with canned crabmeat, and scoop to eat.

Butter: Mix softened butter with minced fresh herbs and garlic; use it to top grilled steak.

Seafood

1 to 2 servings per day

What it Does

  • Helps your heart
  • Fights cancer
  • Boosts brain function
  • Prevents eye damage and age-related macular degeneration
  • Aids muscle functioning
  • Builds muscle

Mackerel: Best combo of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and zinc

1 serving = 3 oz

Quick Ideas:

Salmon: Grill it until done and flake it into pasta, along with extra-virgin olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and fresh herbs.

Sardines: Buy them canned and eat with hearty bread or with mustard and Triscuits.

Shrimp: Keep shells on, brush with olive oil, and grill until pink. Peel and eat.
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