Wednesday, June 5, 2019
WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: June is Men's Health Month
“Nutrition. If it is bad for your heart, it’s also bad for your penis.”
June is Men’s Health Month. Focusing on men’s health is a good idea. Men in general have shorter lifespans than women. That means kids and grandkids have less time with their male family members.
According to menshealthmonth.org, “The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.”
When I started the Growing Healthy Kids movement in 2009, it was because I saw the long-term consequences of childhood obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes as a preventable threat to our nation. If children live shorter lives than their parents, one big change we need to make is what we eat. Preventing diseases and health problems in men is essential if we are to have a nation of healthy kids. Kids deserve healthy fathers and grandfathers.
I believe that plant-based eating is key to improved outcomes for men’s health and men’s lives. The fact is that saturated fat is found in all foods from animals. Saturated fat clogs arteries, especially the smaller vessels found in the eyes, the kidneys, and the penis.
According to Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C., President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, "A plant-based diet is a powerful tool for preventing, managing, and even reversing type 2 diabetes. Not only is this the most delicious 'prescription' you can imagine, but it's also easy to follow. Unlike other diets, there's no calorie counting, no skimpy portions, and no carb counting. Plus, all the 'side effects' are good ones."
Eliminating saturated fat from what one eats is a big first step toward improved health outcomes, especially for men, and especially for men concerned about their heart health and sexual health. Erectile dysfunction is common in men with diabetes. Reducing and eliminating intake of meat and other animal products and eating more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes is a path for men to live healthier and longer lives.
Heart health and sexual health are very connected for men. Take steps to protect the men in your family.
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids