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How much fat does a man need

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First, we feared eating too much fat. Then, the pendulum shifted, and we started to eye carbs as the enemy. But what's the real deal? Now, a global study published in The Lancet is challenging the notion that one necessarily needs to be worse than the other: Rather, it might be that eating too much or too little of the nutrients is the actual problem. Researchers from McMaster University in Canada followed more than , people in 18 countries—from South America to Africa to China—for about seven years.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Fat Intake - The Role of Fat In The Diet with Eric Helms

How Much Fat, Protein, and Carbs Should You Be Eating?

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In the stereotypical Ozzie and Harriet family of the s, men ruled the roost while women ruled the roast. That's no longer true if it ever was , but in most households women are still in charge of nutrition.

They stock the pantry, plan the menus, and fill the plates. In most households it's a good thing, since the average woman knows more about nutrition than the average man.

But when it comes to optimal nutrition, there are differences between the sexes. The differences are subtle, but they may affect a man's health. Here is a quick summary of the similarities and differences in dietary guidelines for men and women. Men and women are That's certainly true of calories; in this case, at least, men act just like big women. A person's caloric requirement depends on his body size and exercise level.

Sedentary people of both genders will keep their weight stable by taking in about 13 calories per pound of body weight each day. Moderate physical activity boosts this requirement to 16 calories a pound, and vigorous exercise calls for about 18 calories a pound. On average, a moderately active pound woman needs 2, calories a day; a pound guy with a similar exercise pattern needs 2, calories.

And like women, men will lose weight only if they burn more calories than they take in. Here, too, body size is the main difference between the needs of males and females.

Despite all the hype about high-protein diets, our protein requirements are really quite modest — only about a third of a gram per pound of body weight. For a pound woman, that amounts to about 42 grams, for a pound man, 58 grams. That's a tiny difference, just about half an ounce a day.

As a rule of thumb, people of both sexes and any size will do fine with about 60 grams of protein a day. But even that's not very much; 8 ounces of chicken or 6 ounces of canned tuna, for example, will fit the bill.

Most Americans get far more protein than they really need. In theory, that may not be wise. Like carbohydrates, protein provides 4 calories per gram, and excess calories from any source will be stored as body fat.

Excess dietary protein increases calcium loss in the urine, perhaps raising the risk for osteoporosis "thin bones," more a worry for women and kidney stones a particular worry for men. Carbs are gender-neutral. But that doesn't mean you should be neutral about the carbohydrates you eat. Most of those calories should come from the complex carbohydrates in high-fiber and unrefined foods, such as bran cereal and other whole-grain products, brown rice, beans and other legumes, and many fruits and vegetables.

These carbohydrates are digested and absorbed slowly, so they raise the blood sugar gradually and don't trigger a large release of insulin. People who eat lots of these foods have higher HDL "good" cholesterol levels and a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

A good amount of soluble fiber in the diet lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol, and high-fiber diets reduce the risk of intestinal disorders ranging from constipation and diverticulosis to hemorrhoids. Some studies have shown that fiber may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Men need more fiber than women: 38 vs. Simple sugars are another matter; they really are empty calories. It's an area of important differences as well as similarities. The fats on the "bad" list are the same for men and women, but the fats on the "good" list are not.

To achieve these goals, cut down on saturated fat from animal products meat and the skin of poultry, whole-fat dairy products, and certain vegetable foods — palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, and coconut. And it's just as important to reduce your consumption of trans fatty acids, the partially hydrogenated vegetable oils found in stick margarine, fried foods, and many commercially baked goods and snack foods.

Make up the difference by including more unsaturated fats in your diet. Monounsaturated fats are healthful for both men and women; olive oil is a good source. The two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are highly desirable for both sexes.

But the vegetable omega-3 is a different matter. The problem omega-3 is alpha-linolenic acid ALA. It is particularly abundant in canola oil and flaxseed oil. Like the marine omega-3s, ALA is good for the heart, but unlike fish oil, which may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, ALA may not be good for the prostate. It tested the effects of an ALA-enriched Mediterranean diet in patients with coronary artery disease.

The Mediterranean diet differed from the standard Western diet in many respects, but because it contained a special canola oil margarine, the greatest difference was in its ALA content, which was nearly eight times higher in the protective diet.

If a canola-rich Mediterranean diet seems exotic, consider that two Harvard studies found that American men and women whose diets were high in ALA had a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than people with diets low in ALA. ALA also appears to protect against stroke. Although canola oil appears to be good for the cardiovascular system, two Harvard studies have raised concerns that ALA might be bad for the prostate. In , the Health Professionals Follow-up Study of 47, men published a major evaluation of dietary fat and prostate cancer.

It found that saturated fat from animal sources such as red meat and whole-fat dairy products was linked to a 2. A year later, a second Harvard study added to the concern. The Physicians' Health Study of 20, men did not evaluate diet per se, but it did measure the blood levels of ALA in men who developed prostate cancer and compared them with the levels in men who remained free of the disease. Men with moderately high ALA blood levels were 3. The Harvard research from and prompted a number of similar investigations around the world.

Four have supported a link between ALA and prostate cancer; three have not. It's still an open question, but there is no question that ALA represents a dietary difference between the sexes. For women, it's a healthful fat. For men with heart disease or major cardiac risk factors, it may also be a good choice — but men with more reason to worry about prostate cancer should probably get their omega-3s from fish and their vegetable fats largely from olive oil.

In both men and women, low doses of alcohol appear to reduce the risk of heart attacks and certain strokes. For both, larger amounts increase the risk of many ills, including liver disease, high blood pressure, behavioral problems, and premature death.

Men who choose to drink and can do so responsibly may benefit from one to two drinks a day, counting 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1. But women face an extra risk: Even low doses of alcohol can raise their risk of breast cancer. So women who choose to drink might be wise to limit themselves to half as much as men. But for some, body size is responsible for slight differences.

In any case, a healthful diet will provide plenty of vitamins for everyone, and a daily multivitamin will provide some insurance along with vitamin D that can be hard to get from diet alone.

Like motherhood and apple pie, it's almost an article of faith that a lot of calcium is good for you. That may be true for mothers and other women, but it may not be so true for fathers and other men. Calcium is important for women; a high-calcium diet may help lower their risk of osteoporosis.

Although it's less common, men can get osteoporosis, too; but there is much less evidence that dietary calcium is protective for men. Calcium may even be harmful for men, at least in large amounts. The worry is prostate cancer, and two Harvard studies have raised the alarm. In , the Health Professionals Follow-up Study found that a high consumption of calcium from food or supplements was linked to an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. The risk was greatest in men who got more than 2, mg a day.

More recently, the U. A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle also found a link between calcium and advanced prostate cancer. What's a man to do? Fortunately, he does not have to choose between his bones and his prostate. The solution is moderation. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, for example, found no link between a moderate consumption of calcium about mg a day, two-thirds of the RDA and prostate cancer.

In addition, a randomized clinical trial of calcium supplements of 1, mg a day found no effect on the prostate, but only men were in the calcium group, and the supplementation lasted just four years. Finally, the Harvard scientists speculate that a high consumption of vitamin D may offset the possible risks of calcium, so a daily multivitamin may also help. There's not much doubt about this one: Women need more iron than men, because they lose iron with each menstrual period.

After menopause, of course, the gap closes. The RDA of iron for premenopausal women is 18 mg a day, for men 8 mg. Men should avoid excess iron.

In the presence of an abnormal gene, it can lead to harmful deposits in various organs hemochromatosis. Since red meat is the richest dietary source of iron, it's just as well that men don't need to wolf down lots of saturated fat to get a lot of iron. The tiny gender differences in minerals other than calcium and iron depend on body size. But while the dietary requirements for selenium fit this rule, men may benefit from supplements of about micrograms a day, a level about four times above the RDA.

That's because both a clinical trial and an observational study suggest that selenium may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It's far from proven, but it's something for men to consider. It's true for both men and women.

And it's also true that a healthy, balanced diet is best for both genders. But there are differences; the fine print of nutrition is one more way that the sexes are opposite.

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Harvard Men's Health Watch.

How Much Fat Should I Eat?

Yes, even with healthy fats, there can be too much of a good thing. Thanks to the sudden popularity of the ketogenic diet , fat has been thrust into the spotlight. Of the three macronutrients protein , carbs , and fat , it's fair to say it's the buzziest at the moment. People are even making " fat bombs " and eating bacon on the reg to increase their daily fat intake in the name of health.

And his powerful statement came after Harvard published a study that showed there is no evidence that dietary saturated fat is associated with coronary heart disease, stroke, or cardiovascular disease. This was a defining moment in a year battle to determine if eating fat makes us fat.

There are some people that say fat makes you fat, while others say fat should make up the majority of your diet. Who is right? Well, the answer is somewhere in between these two extremes. Body size, weight goals, and medical issues can all affect the amount of fat that a person should eat along with the type they need to prioritize.

Good nutrition: Should guidelines differ for men and women?

If the nutrition world had Avengers bear with me here , fat would be the Bucky Barnes of the group—once a villain, then rehabilitated to be a true hero. Fat is back, baby. However, as we all embrace healthy fats and slather our toast with nut butter, pile avocados onto our salads, and add MCT oils into our coffees, it begs the question: how much fat per day, even the healthy kind, is okay to eat? Answering this question gets confusing, fast. So we talked to experts to figure out what we should be doing in the fats department to maximize those benefits without going overboard. But in general, nutritionist Jessica Ash, CNC, and founder of Jessica Ash Wellness recommends getting about 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories from fat. For example, women with hormonal issues sometimes need more or less fat than someone with no health issues. Even with her recommended guidelines, English tells her clients not to stress about specific macros as much as quality.

How many calories should I eat a day?

A macronutrient is something we need in relatively large amounts to be healthy. Macronutrients include water, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Fat is associated with being harmful, but the truth is humans need fat as:. However, certain types of fat give protective benefits to the heart if appropriate portions are consumed.

There isn't a hard and fast quantity of dietary fat that's appropriate for everyone. Instead it's usually expressed as a percentage of your total calories for the day and then, depending how many calories you consume in a day, you can calculate how many grams of fat — and what kind of fat — is appropriate.

When most of us think of calories, we think of how fattening a food is. In dietary terms, calories are the amount of energy that a food provides. If we consistently take in more energy than we need, we will gain weight.

Nutrition for Older Men

Back to Eat well. The stock library no longer exists. Image was incorporated into the webpage during the subscription term and can be used indefinitely in the same page - subject to thinkstock subscription rules. Too much fat in your diet, especially saturated fats, can raise your cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease.

If you are a man who is watching his weight, you may be frustrated by some of the calorie information provided online and in magazines. But what about the number of calories per day for a man? Many women follow a 1, calorie per day plan to slim down. But the number of calories needed for men is usually much higher. The use of a calorie calculator is most helpful when you are trying to figure out how many calories to eat per day.

How to Calculate Your Protein Needs

The Fat Intake Calculator estimates the amount of dietary fat a person should consume on a daily basis. The results are based on an estimation of daily caloric needs determined using the provided information. The calculator also considers the maximum recommended levels of saturated fats a person should consume to reduce risk of heart disease. Fat, along with carbohydrates and proteins, is one of three macronutrients that provide the energy necessary for a person's metabolic system to function, and can be acquired through consuming various foods. There are numerous types of dietary fat including saturated fat, trans fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Men: BEE = + (W) + (H) - (A). Women: How much protein does he need per day? Fat intake should equal 30% of your total days calories.

How many grams of protein should a person consume in a day? A lot of people these days are eating a low carbohydrate diet and are increasing their protein intake so that their muscles continue to have the proper amount of nutrition to grow and build. When the body burns all the local carbs throughout the body it will turn to muscle protein for its energy.

Fats 101: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

It's important that we eat enough protein each day to cover our body's needs. Protein helps your body to maintain a proper fluid balance, builds and repairs tissues, transports nutrients and provides other essential functions. Do you know how much protein you need?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the following targets for healthy adults:. To figure out what that means for you, start with the number of calories you normally eat or want to eat a day. Multiply that number by the recommended percentages to get a daily range of fat calories. How many fat grams is that?

In the stereotypical Ozzie and Harriet family of the s, men ruled the roost while women ruled the roast. That's no longer true if it ever was , but in most households women are still in charge of nutrition.

Most older men cannot eat the way they did in their 20s and maintain a healthy weight. As men age, they typically become less active, lose muscle and gain fat. All of these things combined can cause metabolism to slow down. More physical activity is needed to keep metabolism up. How many calories you need each day depends on your age, gender and activity level.

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