In celebration of Men’s Health Month, we asked Rob Anello, RD, the only male registered dietitian at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH), to share his story and provide his top five health and nutrition tips for men to live a healthier, happy life.
At TMH, Rob assists patients with successfully managing metabolic health conditions, including food and weight issues, and is regarded amongst his colleagues as an expert in nutritional science. As the only male registered dietitian among 17 women at TMH, Rob finds himself in a unique category. Only 3.77% of the dietetic profession are males.
“Before I started in this profession, I had no idea it was primarily composed of all females. At a young age I knew that I loved nutrition and wanted to utilize it to help people live better lives,” said Rob.
Rob’s nutritional journey began when he was only 15 years old. While in a hospital for three weeks recovering from heart surgery, he lost ten pounds due to lack of appetite. During this time, no one spoke to Rob about medical nutrition or even seemed concerned about his weight loss and reduced food intake. After being discharged from the hospital, Rob’s view on food and nutrition changed.
“I became fascinated with the remarkable healing properties of food and a proper diet, and wanted to help people in similar ways.” He commented. “Specifically, focusing on those with chronic illnesses.”
Rob’s Top 5 Health and Nutrition Tips for Men
- Get your fiber. Fiber can help with managing hunger and fullness. It also has preventative effects in colon and prostate cancer, which are high among men. 38 grams of fiber per day is recommended.
- Eat more plant-based proteins. Adding more plant-based proteins to your diet can be beneficial. Plant-based proteins are high in phytonutrients, which have been shown to decrease your overall risk of cancer and decrease cholesterol. Great sources of plant-based proteins are beans, lentils, chickpeas, green peas and nuts.
- Cut back on the salt. Too much salt leads to high blood pressure, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. There are ways to cut back on your salt intake, like using herbs and spices, and substituting healthier food options for higher sodium containing foods. For example, try swapping out pretzels or chips for unsalted nuts.
- Cook at home. Cooking at home allows you to be in control of your food. Many menu items at restaurants are considered a ‘healthy choice,’ but typically are high in salt. Cooking at home allows you to control what goes into your food. Cooking at home also is better on your wallet. The consumer price index shows 48.5% of food dollars are spent away from home.
- Schedule a visit with a registered dietitian! Dietitians are the food gurus who can help with your nutritional needs. To learn how a registered dietitian can help you, contact TMH Physician Partners – Metabolic Health Center at 850-431-5404.