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The Best and Worst Foods a Man Can Eat

We rate 54 common foods, so you always know what's on your plate.

grilled chicken

LUNCH

FAST-FOOD BURGERS
When a whopping 64% of calories come from fat, even a low-carb marketing makeover can't turn this cash cow into healthy food. Cruise home and grill your own. Rating: F

COTTAGE CHEESE
Yes, it's calcium- and protein-pumped, but this lumpy cheese isn't quite as wholesome as you may think. A cup of the curd packs 918 mg of sodium--more than 35% of a healthy daily salt intake--so if you have high blood pressure, limit your intake. Rating: B

TOMATOES
With just 35 calories and 40 percent of your daily vitamin C apiece--plus a bounty of cancer fighting lycopene in every bite--tomatoes are one of the best vegetables you can eat, even if you have to resort to getting them as sauce on your slice. Rating: A

PIZZA
Italian docs recently found that guys who ate a small 6-inch pizza once a week had a 22% lower chance of suffering a coronary than patients who rarely touched the stuff. Rating: C

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CHILI
Drive-up chili is a good source of protein and slow-release carbs. It's also an excellent source of fiber, with a single-cup serving packing nearly 10 grams or artery-clearing, appetite controlling fiber. Rating: B

SUBS
Keep the meats lean, the vegetables plentiful, avoid mayonnaise-laden toppings, and this ship's a go. Rating: B

CHICKEN
At 27 g of protein per skin-and-boneless 3-oz breast, chicken is one of the best muscle foods on legs. Rating: A

FRENCH FRIES
Are they the new "cancer sticks"? Possibly, thanks to the combination of frying and a cancer-causer called acrylamide in every fry. Rating: F

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SPINACH
The iron in spinach is spackle for your sinew, helping to rebuild the muscle-tissue that strength training tears down. Rating: A

APPLES
An apple a day could keep a hacking cough away. Studies show that apples help to counteract damage from inhaled cigarette smoke. Rating: A

ONIONS
Quercetin-rich onions help battle cataracts, cancer and heart disease. (But be careful! They don't do much for your social life.) Rating: B

NACHOS
Swap regular chips for baked, lowfat cheese for full, add some salsa, refried beans and guac, and the angry clash of chips and cheese redeems itself big time. Rating: C

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SUSHI
Want to appear smarter? Order sushi. Types of fat called EPA and DHA in fatty fish like salmon are important components of brain and sperm cells. So you're covered no matter which body part you think with. Rating: B

TUNA
Studies shows that increasing protein intake to 1.4 g per kilogram of body weight helps to trigger muscle growth. A 3-oz can of tuna packs 20 g--providing a whole lot of bang toward bigger guns. Rating: A

DARK CHOCOLATE
The high-quality antioxidants in the cocoa justify this indulgence, helping to delay aging and prevent the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Just stick to small servings. Rating: B

TURKEY
Barflies, beware: All that alcohol may leave you peeing your zinc stores down the pub urinal, causing your testosterone levels to plunge. Gobbling turkey will help cover your losses. Light meat is a good source and has less fat than dark. Rating: A

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