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Men can eat healthy, too

Eating healthy should be a goal for men and women alike, but many men feel a healthy diet is one that's not necessarily that macho and certainly not very flavorful. But a healthy diet boosts your energy while helping to fight disease.

The idea that a healthy diet is one devoid of flavor is a misconception. In fact, many men don't have to give up their favorite foods to make their diets healthier, they just have to give up eating so much of their favorite foods. The following are a few ways men can eat healthy without sacrificing all the foods they love.

* Choose lean cuts. Eating too much meat has been linked to heart disease, but that doesn't mean men have to give up steak entirely. Instead, choose lean cuts of beef when eating meat. The United States Department of Agriculture defines a lean cut of beef as a 3.5-ounce serving that has less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol. Ambitious men can even opt for extra lean cuts of beef, which have less than 5 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3.5-ounce serving. According to the USDA, examples of extra lean cuts of beef include eye of round roast or steak, sirloin tip side steak, bottom round roast and steak, and top sirloin steak.

While it's good to choose lean or extra lean cuts of beef, it's still best to avoid overdoing it with regard to red meat. Eating less red meat makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight and keep your blood pressure down.

* Embrace whole grains. Bread is a beloved food for many men, and, if chosen wisely, it can even be healthy and help prevent disease. Whole-grain bread, for instance, can boost energy levels while helping men maintain healthy weights. The American Society for Clinical Nutrition notes that studies dating back several decades have provided strong support that whole grains play a beneficial role in reducing risk for coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer. And it's now easier than ever before for men to include whole grains in their diets, as whole-grain pastas and cereals are available at more and more grocery stores.

* Avoid saturated fat. England's National Health Service notes that a diet heavy in saturated fat is likely to increase the cholesterol in your blood, which increases your risk for heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis, a potentially deadly condition where the body's medium and large arteries become clogged. Saturated fat can be found in a host of foods, including butter, whole milk, hard cheeses, and fatty meats or meat products such as sausage. But foods such as beans, fish and skinless poultry, each of which provide lots of protein, are not heavy in saturated fat, and can be just as delicious if not more so. What's more, fish and poultry are considered complete proteins, which means they contain the necessary amino acids to help the body build new proteins, keeping the body's various systems in good shape.

* Keep a schedule. Many men will only eat when they're hungry, which leads to overeating. Instead of allowing hunger to dictate when you eat, keep a steady schedule, ideally eating every 4 to 5 hours so your body is getting the fuel it needs throughout the day. When eating, be sure portions are small. Once your body grows accustomed to smaller portions every 4 or 5 hours, you can expect to feel more energized during the day, and you will likely notice it's easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Eating healthy is no longer done at the expense of a flavorful diet. Men can employ a host of healthy eating strategies and still enjoy their favorite foods.