Men and Women Like Different Foods
Until now, there's been lots of anecdotal evidence that men and women have distinctly different food preferences. You wouldn't expect salad for lunch at an Elks Club meeting, nor ham and fries at the Women's Club. Now, a new study of 14,000 Americans confirms that it's true -- men really do prefer meat, and women prefer veggies. According to the research, conducted by Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), veal, ham, and duck, and shellfish such as shrimp and oysters rank high on the list for men. Women, on the other hand, tend to opt for carrots, tomatoes, and fruits--especially strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and apples.
Oddly, men seem to prefer frozen hamburgers (sorry Wendys) while women like them fresh. Men also have more of an affinity for frozen pizzas, frozen Mexican dinners, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, peanuts, and risky foods such as undercooked meats and eggs. Women, on the other hand, prefer dry foods such as cereals, walnuts, and almonds, and they consume more eggs and yogurt than men.
The study didn't explore reasons for the berry/duck divide, but you can be reasonably certain that it goes deeper than men having macho taste buds. What's interesting is that many of the foods that men gravitate towards have testosterone-producing effects, whereas women prefer foods high in phytoestrogens. You've got to wonder if we're biologically programmed to eat foods that support gender differentiation.
For instance, it's uncanny that men choose Brussels sprouts considering that the little green globules have a high content of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phyto-chemical that converts "bad" estrogens into testosterone-stimulating "good estrogens." Most vegetables and berries, on the other hand, are phytoestrogenic -- and preferred by women. And peanuts, beloved by guys, are high in monosaturated fat and zinc, both of which boost testosterone production. Same with meat, which also contains large amounts of zinc and fat, and so theoretically, it should raise testosterone levels -- but that's where the irony begins. Yes, meat, in its unadulterated natural state does indeed boost testosterone, but the modern supermarket variety, chock full of estrogenic hormones, certainly does not. In fact, most commercial meat actually raises estrogen levels. That means that over time, men who eat too much commercial meat end up with "man boobs" -- not bigger muscles.
Ah, life's conundrums!