By Richard P. Holm, MD
Talk to a man about a complicated physics-type issue, and he will often have some working knowledge about it. Ask a guy about the Twins or Vikings, and usually he is following and knows some stats. Ask him to fix a mechanical whatsit and commonly he can figure it out. But ask a guy about how many calories are in the biscuits and gravy on his plate, and you’d think you were expecting him to know how to sew on a button or plan a shopping trip.
It is amusing to kid around about manly men stereotypes, but it’s no joking matter that eating too much food and too many calories can bring on heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and early death. And men are usually the big eaters.
We find rats live about 40% longer when they are fed about 40% less and we think humans work the same way. It seems the rats who are on the “eat anything and everything you want diet,” die prematurely, just like humans. Researchers believe those vascular and malignant medical problems are due to premature oxidation, which is, in turn, due to excessive calorie intake. You reduce that oxidative load NOT by “antioxidants” but by eating less.
We’re not just talking about obesity; we’re talking about learning to eat right. Obese or not, we need to realize that having seconds and thirds, constant snacking, ordering high calorie foods, drinking non-satiating sugar or alcoholic drinks, all can be poisonous. Plain and simple, too many calories are dangerous to your health.
Dietary experts have defined a normal sized man’s total goal for a full day of eating should be about 2000 calories, and to lose weight about 1500. Not surprisingly, a single fast food meal often approaches our entire daily caloric need. For example, a loaded big burger with bacon, large fries, and a 12ounce soft drink adds up to 1334 calories. Try this: ask your smart phone how many calories are in each portion of food you eat for three days, or write it down, keep track, and add up your daily count. Ask for help if needed. Knowing the total calories in food will help you eat less.
Indeed, men in general usually don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, but the most important error in their modern diet comes from eating too many calories. And, by the way, there are about 400 calories in a single order of biscuits and gravy.
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