Nothing goes together more than men and sports - and among cheers for touchdowns, tackles and sacks are requests to pass the chips, wings and pizza. But health doesn't have to be compromised along the way.
With football playoff and superbowl parties upon us, it's the perfect time to explore dude-style heart-smart eating. Here are several recipes that will help guys get their game on without sacking their heart and health.
"Sometimes men take a fatalistic approach to heart health," says nutrition consultant Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D. "They think if someone in their family had heart disease, it's over for them the same way, but really, they can prevent it up to 80% of the time with a healthy diet and lifestyle."
On the flip side, some men, especially young men, think they are invincible and don't have to worry about heart health because they're active. But statistics suggest otherwise: cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one killer of U.S. men, accounting for about one-third of all deaths. Men have a higher incidence of CVD than women and tend to experience their first cardiac event earlier.
- Between 70 percent and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men. Half of men who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms.
- Before 75 years of age, more men than women experience CVD events due to heart disease.
These recipes may encourage men to cook with some of their favorite ingredients in a heart-healthier way.
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Each recipe is made with canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat.
"I don't tell my patients to give up their favorite foods," Mohr says. "I simply encourage them to make smarter choices, like substituting canola oil for solid fats or other oils and choosing lean cuts of meat, and to be mindful of portion sizes."