TOPS Club Inc., a nonprofit weight-loss support group, says that improving Dad’s health can benefit the entire family.
Mom and the kids can offer Dad:
- Time and share it with him. Make a date for a regular activity, and support each other in your healthy lifestyle. Commit to doing yardwork together every Saturday or taking regular walks every other evening after dinner.
- If Dad’s a cook, give him a healthy cookbook for his collection. Provide him with new grill accessories and encourage replacing unhealthy food options with grilled fresh vegetables, fish and seafood.
- Give him a surprise activity – a long bike ride, a day hike, doubles tennis with family members, or an afternoon of golf.
- A subscription to a health and fitness or sports magazine that matches his interests will be a gift that keeps on giving.
- A healthy brain is a happy brain. Give him books of puzzles and brain teasers. Play board games with him and the family.
There are several foods and nutrients men should consume most days of the week for optimum health, as outlined by Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen, authors of the “You” series of books.
- Fiber – Men need to eat at least 25 grams each day. Fiber is found in a number of sources, like grapefruit, soybeans and whole grains. Look for “100 percent whole grain” or “100 percent whole wheat.”
- Folate – Men can significantly reduce their risks for some kinds of cancer by eating food rich in folate. Take a supplement or add dark, leafy greens and orange juice to your diet. Men are advised to look for the words “folate” or “folic” on food labels and to get at least 800 mg each day.
- Tomato sauce – It takes 165 raw tomatoes to equal 10 tablespoons of sauce. This juicy red fruit contains lycopene, which can help fight cancer. Enjoy 10 tablespoons per week and decrease the chances of arterial aging, heart disease, stroke and memory loss.
- A handful of nuts – Men should eat walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts to get the powerful omega-3s, healthy fats with multiple benefits. It’s good practice to snack on some before eating foods like pasta or corn on the cob. The fat in the nuts helps the stomach slow down and the body to more effectively process sugar from the carbohydrates.
- Fish – Men also should consider eating a serving of fish three times a week. Tilapia, salmon, flounder, cod, and mahi-mahi are all good choices. They’re high in protein and low in fat and carry a low amount of mercury, a chemical that can increase the risk of heart disease and impaired memory.
For more information on TOPS or to find a local chapter, call 1-800-932-8677 or visit www.tops.org.