Nutrition for Men - Why it's important to know what to eat
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Regular exercise goes hand-in-hand with healthy eating to make an even bigger impact on your health and risk of disease. Support regular physical activity with healthy eating to make the most of your health.

Real Men Move

Choosing a healthy diet for men


Men generally require more energy each day than women because they are often larger and more of their body is muscle. It’s best to get this extra energy by eating a bit more vegetables, and lean meat and meat alternatives like legumes, tofu or nuts. Let’s give you the low down on nutrition.

man food healthy food

In general, you should aim to:


  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods such as:
    • Vegetables of different types and colours, and legumes/beans
    • Fruit
    • Grain (cereal) foods, mostly whole grain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
    • Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds
    • Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fat
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit your intake of foods containing saturated fat, added salt and added sugars.


See the Australian Dietary Guidelines for Adults for details about how much to eat of the above listed foods and talk to an Accredited Practising Dietitian to find out more about how eating well can help you manage your health. A healthy diet should not only meet your unique physical needs but also fit with your lifestyle and reduce your risk of disease.     



Eating well at all life stages


kellies dad

Younger men (aged 19 -50 years) require more energy than older men but you still need to eat foods in moderation, with a balance from all the food groups. Trying to change you appearance or performance by building muscle with protein supplements is more common in men aged 19-50. However, most men in this age group only need about 0.84 grams of protein per kg of body weight, per day. This equals about 60 grams per day for an 80kg man. Limiting the high kilojoule drinks, like soft drinks, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages is necessary for managing weight and, in combination with regular exercise, is a better way to maintain a lean and muscular appearance.


Putting this into real terms, there is approximately 60g of protein in 100g of rump steak and 12.4g in 40 grams of reduced fat cheese. As you can tell, getting the recommended amount of protein is easy to achieve if you are including protein-rich foods every day like meat, poultry, fish, dairy, legumes and lentils, eggs and nuts.


Men aged 50-71, require slightly less of some food groups, such as lean meats or alternatives. You also need to reduce the number of discretionary foods they are having each day to ensure you are not unintentionally gaining weight. Discretionary foods are foods that are not necessary for a healthy diet, such as cakes, biscuits,chips, lollies, cordials and soft drinks, and are often too high in kilojoules, saturated fat and/or added sugars, added salt or alcohol and low in fibre.


After 70 years old, men start to need slightly less wholegrains and grainy foods and slightly more dairy foods and alternatives such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. You also need a little more calcium and phosphorus than your younger counterparts; good source
s include dairy products, eggs, sardines or salmon, almonds, cashews rice/wheat/oat bran and peanut butter.


Information provided by Dietitians Association Australia.

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