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Prevention key in helping to maintain health

June 12, 2012

This news article is dedicated to all the gentlemen in our lives both young and old. Men’s Health Week is celebrated annually during the week preceding and including Father’s Day which is June 11-17. The purpose of Men’s Health Week is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

Do you know the greatest threats to men’s health? The list is surprisingly short and prevention pays off. Consider the top seven list of men’s health threats which includes: heart disease, cancer, accidents, chronic lower respiratory disorders, stroke, suicide, and type 2 diabetes. These were compiled from statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading organizations to reflect men’s health risks in the United States. Then get serious about reducing your risks.
Heart Disease

Heart disease is a leading men’s health threat. Take charge of heart health by making healthier lifestyle choices. For example:
Don’t smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. It’s also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium.

- Manage chronic conditions. If you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Choose sports or other activities you enjoy, from basketball to brisk walking.
Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds increase the risk of heart disease.

- Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure.
- Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.

Cancer
Various types of cancer are of particular concern to men, including lung cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. To reduce the risk of cancer, consider these general tips:

Don’t smoke. Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke counts, too.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess pounds — and keeping them off — may lower the risk of various types of cancer.

Get moving. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own may lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it may help reduce your risk.

- Protect yourself from the sun. When you’re outdoors,cover up and use plenty of sunscreen.

Limit alcohol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
Take early detection seriously. Consult your doctor for regular cancer screenings.

Recipe of the Week
 
Parmesan Chicken
and Broccoli

2 cups uncooked converted rice (parboiled)
1 cup chopped onion (1 large) or sliced green onions (8)
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-size strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 24-ounce package frozen cut croccoli (6 cups)
2 10.75 ounce cans reduced-fat and reduced -sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup.
1 cup water
1 cup chopped tomato (2 medium)
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt
Ground black pepper
 
Cook rice according to package directions: remove from heat. Stir in half of the onion, the butter, and 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning. Divide the rice mixture among three 2-quart baking dishes or casseroles; set aside.

In a very large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the remaining onion, the remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, the chicken, and garlic; cook and stir for 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat. Stir in frozen broccoli, soup, the water, tomato, and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon chicken mixture over rice in dishes. Cover casseroles or baking dishes with freezer wrap; cover with heavy foil. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.

To serve, thaw one casserole in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours (mixture may still be icy). Preheat oven to 350. Remove freezer wrap; cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes more or until heated through.

Nutrition facts per serving: 302 calories, 8g total fat, 55 mg cholesterol, 402 mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 24 g protein.
Recipe Source: BH&G The Ultimate Low-Calorie Book

Pamela Redwine is a nutrition and food safety agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Article provided by Oktibbeha County Extension Service; for more information call 662-323-5916.

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