Science dealt yet another blow to innocent, fun-loving men recently. As if recommending procedures like colonoscopies weren't enough, it took direct aim at one of the most sacred of men's rituals: eating a wide variety of red meat, desserts and processed foods.
This time - so claim the scientists - it has to do with healthy lungs...
A study from the Harvard School of Public Health reports that men eating a Mediterranean style diet are less likely to develop chronic lung diseases. On the flip side, those consuming the standard "Western" diet push their odds of lung disease to a level that will garner the attention of Vegas odds makers.
The study followed over 42 thousand men for a dozen years. They were assigned to one of five groups, based upon levels of adherence to a "prudent" diet - meaning a diet rich in plant foods, whole grains and fish. A second five-group differentiation was made depending upon how "Western" their diet was.
The Results? Yes - with a capital "R."
Men eating the most "prudent" diet, that most closely resembling a Mediterranean diet, were one-half as likely to develop chronic lung problems as men at the opposite end of the "prudent" scale. The Western diet results were even more striking - those eating the most Western diets were more than Four Times as likely (F-O-U-R) to suffer from chronic lung disease.
Research shows fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants that have been tied to better lung function. The Omega-3 fatty acids may also help lungs stay healthy. But, processed foods contain nitrates and sugars that are harmful to the lungs.
So, men... Grab an apple, banana, or pear, and start getting healthy. Yes - it's OK to ask your wife exactly where you might find such an object in your house...To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about health issues related to your lungs, see this from the American Lung Association.