Men's Health Week

June 11, 2011

Sunday, June 19, is father's Day, but the week leading up to it is Men's Health Week (link: As a lot of dads are heavily involved with the grilling season, we had Melissa Dobbins (link:, registered dietitian for NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, in our ABC7 studio to talk about men's health and grilling tips.

Dobbins says men's health risks are primarily heart disease and hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain cancers. Therefore, keeping an eye on fat, saturated fat, processed food and a lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet is key.

Tips For Men's Health and Grilling

1. Fire it up
- Don't thaw meats on the counter, only in the refrigerator or microwave.
- Cook meats to the proper temperature; use a food thermometer.
- ADA's Safe Grilling Guide (link: is a handy reference for all your meat temperatures
- Use different plates, tongs and brushes for raw and cooked meat.

2. Load it up
- Load up the grill with lean meats, vegetables and even fruits.
- Lean meats: try turkey burgers, lean ground beef (round or sirloin), reduced fat hot dogs, salmon burgers, veggie burgers, lean ground turkey.
- Turkey burgers can save you about 20 grams of fat and 100 calories over regular burgers.
- Grill vegetables: asparagus, corn on the cob, bell peppers, eggplant. Season them with herbs, and place them on a hot grill until they are tender and brown (usually about 10-15 minutes).
- For zucchini, tomatoes and carrots, place them on heavy-duty foil and sprinkle with a little water and seasoning. Wrap the foil, and grill 6-8 minutes or until tender.
- Grill fruits: try peaches, mango, papaya, pineapple, and bananas. Make kabobs, and grill on low heat until the fruit is hot and slightly golden.

3. Plate it up
- The food pyramid has been replaced with a plate (link:
- 1/2 plate: fruits and vegetables; 1/4 plate: whole grains; 1/4 plate: protein
- Side of dairy, such as low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.

4. Clean it up
- Wash your hands often with warm soapy water.
- Swap out dirty dish towels often, or use paper towels.
- Wash dish towels in the hot cycle in the washing machine.
- Don't let foods sit out and "cool off" on the counter before refrigerating them. Use shallow containers to allow the food to cool more quickly and refrigerate promptly.
- Only store leftovers for 3-4 days.

Related links:
Starting Monday, June 13: for Men's Health topics

Men's Health:

Men's Health and Understanding Cancer event June 15th:

Expert tips for grade-A grilling:
Men following proper grilling tips:

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