Ask the Experts: Questions on Healthy Eating

Q:

How can I lose my beer belly?

A:

"At the risk of sounding obvious, the first step is to stop drinking beer. But you’ll also need to eat less and exercise more. Most men store fat in their stomachs, especially as they age. Finding the right balance of trunk exercises to address stomach fat is important. Most of the abdominal muscles start in the back and wrap around to the front, so to have the best effect you’ll have to do a variety of abdominal and back-targeting exercises."

Add these exercises to your workout routine:

Trunk rotations and Roman curls using kettlebells or medicine balls.

Robert Dimeff, M.D. 
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Family and Community Medicine, and Pediatrics

Q:

Many food products promote that they are gluten-free. What’s so bad about gluten?

A:

“Gluten is a protein found in some grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. For most people, it causes no problems. But some people are allergic to gluten, and in people with celiac disease, gluten interferes with the absorption of nutrients and may cause symptoms such as diarrhea and weight loss. Fortunately, it’s becoming easier all the time to find tasty foods made with ‘safe’ grains, such as rice, corn, wildrice, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, and quinoa - none of which contain gluten.”

Be careful with oats:

Oats don’t contain gluten, but they’re often processed along with wheat, which does. If you need to avoid gluten, look for oats that are labeled gluten-free.

Lona Sandon, M.Ed., R.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nutrition 

Q:

Can men get osteoporosis, or is it exclusively a female problem?

A:

"While women are far more likely to develop osteoporosis, men can get it, too, and are more likely to go undiagnosed. Men need to take steps to maintain strong bones, especially as they age. A few lifestyle modifications can help: avoid smoking, drink alcohol only in moderation, and exercise regularly. It’s also important to get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D."

Take your vitamins:

Men ages 30 to 50 need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, and older men need 1,200 milligrams. For vitamin D, men ages 50 to 70 need 400 to 800 international units a day, while older men need 1,000 IUs a day.

Khashayar Sakhaee, M.D.
Professor of Internal Medicine