June is National Men’s Health Month! Do men need a sports or protein drink? Is it true that beer causes a beer belly? Did you know men need more fibre than women? And what foods are best to prevent prostate cancer and gout?
I met up with Ben Mulroney on CTV Your Morning to chat about these questions!
In a recent TV interview with CBC National News, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting award-nominated journalist Heather Hiscox and rate her favourite morning meal. As the anchor for the national morning news, Heather starts her day at 5:30 am with “a handful of Shredded Wheat, some bran buds, half a banana and 2% milk.” It’s been her breakfast for the past ten years, and it tides her for at least four hours.
In rating her breakfast, I used the following five-point criteria:
1. Variety – does the breakfast contain foods from at least three of the four food groups in Canada’s Food Guide? Bonus points if veggies are included at breakfast!
2. Fibre – is there at least 4 grams of fibre?
3. Protein – is there about 20 grams or more protein?
4. Healthy fats – do any of the foods provide healthy fats?
5. Whole grains – are the choices whole grain?
So did Heather pass the breakfast test? Well, her breakfast included foods from three food groups; the meal contained at least 4 grams of fibre, thanks to the cereal and bran; and her cereal choice was a whole grain. When it came to protein though, Heather’s meal was shy of the 20 grams of protein that’s often recommended to help with satiety. Including a sprinkle of nuts or seeds would not only pump up the protein, but also add some healthy fats to the meal.
Health Canada has recently permitted a new health claim linking the consumption of psyllium fibre to a reduction of blood cholesterol. A sample claim is: “Psyllium fibre helps lower cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease. 1 cup (30 g) of Brand X cereal with psyllium supplies 50% of the daily amount of fibre shown to help lower cholesterol.” The “daily amount” is 7 g of psyllium fibre. To make this claim, the food must contain at least 1.75 g of psyllium soluble fibre per serving size as well as meet other specific nutrient criteria.
According to Health Canada, increased psyllium intake could be beneficial for adults who have normal or high blood cholesterol levels. Psyllium is a grain similar to wheat and oats, and is a concentrated source of soluble fibre.