4 Foods Your Prostate Does NOT Want You To Eat
Research suggests that a diet low in saturated fat, meat and dairy, along with high intakes of fruits and vegetables, may be beneficial in preventing the development or progression of prostate cancer.
Foods to Avoid for Prostate Health
Step away from the beef, boys. While a burger dripping with cheese can be oh-so-delicious, it’s not doing your prostate any favors. Research published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that a diet low in saturated fat, meat, and dairy, along with high intakes of fruits and vegetables, may help prevent prostate cancer development or progression.
Click through the slideshow to see which junky foods to cut back on (or better yet, eliminate).
Red Meat and Processed Meat
Increasing evidence suggests that a diet high in meat—particularly if it’s well-done—may be associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. This may be due to heterocyclic amines (HCAs), carcinogens found in cooked meat that have been implicated in the development of several cancers.
HCAs are compounds formed during high temperature cooking such as broiling or grilling. Some studies suggest that red and processed meat such as beef, pork, lunchmeats, hot dogs, and sausage, may be associated with increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Dairy and Calcium
The World Cancer Research Fund 2008 report suggests that eating large amounts of dairy products may increase cell proliferation in the prostate, which can lead to prostate cancer. According to studies published in The Journal of Nutrition, drinking whole milk increases the risk of progression to fatal prostate cancer, while skim and low-fat milks increase the risk of low-grade stages of the disease. Limiting dairy consumption and sticking to heart-healthy fat-free and low fat varieties can therefore be healthier your prostate.
Although red wine may do wonders for your heart, early research suggests that alcohol may be harmful to your pancreas. Using data from more than 10,000 men participating in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, investigators uncovered that heavy alcohol drinkers (>50 g/day) and regular heavy drinkers (≥4 drinks/day on ≥5 days/wk) were twice as likely to be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer as compared with moderate drinkers. Most of the heavy drinkers in the study drank beer, so researchers were unclear as to whether wine and spirits carry similar risks.
Saturated fats are found in meat, dairy, salad dressings, baked goods and processed foods. Although saturated fats have been linked to heart disease, the association with prostate cancer is still a tentative one. Researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center examined the association between saturated fat and PSA levels among patients who had undergone surgery to remove prostate tumors.
PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is a protein produced by the prostate. Elevated PSA levels in the blood can indicate prostate cancer in some men. Investigators found that men who ate more saturated fats were more likely to have rising PSA levels following prostate surgery than those who stuck to a low-fat diet. Elevation of PSA post-surgery can be an indication that the cancer has returned.
Replace the saturated fats in your diet with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in foods like fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, seeds and canola oil.
Check With Your Doctor
Some foods may interact with certain drugs and therapies. Consult your physician before making any dietary changes for prostate cancer treatment. For more information about prostate cancer prevention, treatment, and dietary recommendations, visit Healthline’s Prostate Cancer center.