Men, it’s time to get serious about our health

11 June 2019 | Healthy living

Matt Lambert, one of our nutritionists, shares his take on men’s health as we launch our updated Men’s health guide.

Like many men I've tended to put off seeing my doctor – something that other men reading this will probably be very familiar with. In fact, it’s well known that men are less likely than women to visit their doctor, and in the UK it’s estimated that we go 20 per cent less than women.

Even if men are concerned about their health, and I include myself here as well, we still put off seeing our doctor! In a study of 1,000 men, shockingly three-quarters said they would put off going to their doctor even when showing signs of illness.

In general, men tend to be less health conscious than women, for example, men are less likely to eat their 5 A DAY – just over a quarter of UK men eat five or more portions of fruit and veg a day. Not only this, but almost a quarter of men drink in excess of the government’s alcohol guidelines – increasing their risk of six different types of cancer.

In the UK, cancer has actually overtaken cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death among men – around 6,000 more cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in men compared with women. In addition to prostate cancer – the most common cancer in men – there are also certain cancers that men are at a higher risk of, namely bowel and lung cancer. These three cancers make up more than half of all cancers in men.

In England, 67 per cent of men are either overweight or obese – not only does this increase the risk of developing cancer but it also increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

While I’ve highlighted some of the issues affecting men’s health, the good news is that by changing your lifestyle and taking your health more seriously you can reduce your risk of developing a preventable cancer. Our updated Men’s health guide is specially designed for men and looks at the cancers that are most common. It gives lots of tips and advice on how you – or the men in your life – can be healthier and make cancer less likely.

Here are just some of the tips I follow from the Men’s health guide to help you get started:

Get your 5 A DAY

  • Sunday roast: instead of potatoes, try roasting sweet potatoes, squash or parsnips in a little oil.
  • Gain with grains: make the most of your everyday diet by incorporating more wholegrains, fruit, veg and pulses. These nutrient-packed foods provide your body with the building blocks for good health.

Cut down on red and processed meat

  • Meatless Mondays: take a break from red meat on Mondays and indulge in some mouth-watering veggie dishes like our bean chilli. It’s filled with protein and fibre, and full of flavour.

Get active

  • Work workouts: doing a sedentary job can take its toll. Try to incorporate as much exercise as possible while at work – go for walks at lunch, or walk up the stairs every two hours. Anything that gets you moving a bit.

Drink less

  • Order small measures. Double measures may seem good value but can make you drink more.
  • Don’t hold on to your glass. Put your glass down when you’re sitting or standing in a fixed place.

If you're worried about your health, the most important thing you can do is to make an appointment to see your doctor. We only have one life and looking after our health is crucial for a longer and healthier one.

Check out our newly updated Men’s health guide – packed with useful practical tips on diet, activity and lifestyle to help reduce every man's risk of developing cancer.

  • Our Men's health guide is also available to buy from our online shop – only 50p plus p&p.
Matt Lambert | 11 June 2019