HEALTH

Men's Health Month: Tasty grilling to deal 'waist management'

SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 28:  Jennifer Carr uses a grill outside to cook some chicken and burgers since their house is without electricity after Hurricane Jeanne knocked out the power September 28, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Many people throughout the region are still without power.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SEBASTIAN, FL - SEPTEMBER 28: Jennifer Carr uses a grill outside to cook some chicken and burgers since their house is without electricity after Hurricane Jeanne knocked out the power September 28, 2004 in Sebastian, Florida. Many people throughout the region are still without power. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)  (2004 Getty Images)

In the month of June we not only celebrate Father's Day — we also take the time to observe Men's Health Month. To celebrate the men in our lives, we would like to focus on a few issues that affect men, specifically managing their waist.

For men, it's more about waist management than weight management. In order for men to be fit and healthy, we need to focus on our guts. Abdominal fat carries more potential health risks than fat in other parts of the body.

Research has shown that men's risk for chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers increases as their waistline expands. For the average male, a waistline of 40 inches or more is getting into the disease-risk zone. The culprit: the fat around the body's internal organs, known as visceral fat.

A high amount of visceral fat is an unhealthy condition that affects many aspects of the man's body. As a registered dietitian, I understand the importance of nutrition and its effects on health. For men, having a healthy waist can help with energy levels, immunity and even libido.

Eating better, decreasing stress levels, engaging in physical activity and getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep every day can help keep a man's midsection under control. Take positive steps to get your waist size down like reducing portion sizes and cutting back on alcohol, combined with regular exercise. 

Furthermore, to combat the effects of visceral fat it is important to use heart healthy foods which include fruits and vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and good fats.  

Summertime is here and it is the ideal time to hit the grill. Let’s face it dads, the grill is your domain. Everyone loves to come over and eat some of your amazing grill options. But, did you know burgers can be healthy too? Here I created a chicken-cilantro patty that infuses Latin flavors, perfect for the grill and light on the waist. 

Chicken meat is lower in saturated fat, making it a leaner meat option. I use tomato, onions, cilantro and garlic to incorporate a little extra vegetable and a burst of flavor into your meal. I also use canola oil for its neutral taste to help keep my Latin flavors present, as well as for its high heat tolerance, especially for grilling. Aside from that, canola oil gives you a health kick for having the most omega-3 fats of any cooking oil and for being a good source of vitamin E.

Cilantro chicken patty 

Time to heat up the grill for this scrumptious meal. Need a raincheck? No worries! This recipe is perfect for outdoor grilling or cooking indoors on a rainy day.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 pound ground chicken
cooking spray

Directions:

1. Heat the canola oil in a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion. When the onion starts to soften add the garlic, tomatoes and cilantro. Sauté until fragrant.
2. Place ground chicken in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add saute mix. Stir until evenly combined.
3. Divide the mixture into four equal lightly-flattened patties.
4. Spray grill, griddle or sauté pan with a thin layer of oil. Place each portion of chicken on surface, about half an inch thick. Flatten patties to desired thickness.
5. Cook each side for five minutes or until cooked thoroughly.   

Note: Chicken patties will keep in the refrigerator for five days.

Serves 4.

Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian in private practice, MV Nutrition, award winning nutrition and weight loss center in San Francisco. He is the founder and creator of Eating Free, an international weight management and wellness program and author of three books, Eating Free: The Carb Friendly Way to Lose Inches, Peruvian Power Foods: 18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes, and Anti-Aging Secrets from the Amazon to the Andes and his newest book, Whole Body Reboot: The Peruvian Superfoods Diet to Detoxify, Energize, and Supercharge Fat Loss.

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