Eshealthtips.com – Prostate cancer is the number one cancer in men and it’s important that we understand how diet affects our risk. We know that eating a plant-based diet can be helpful in reducing our risk of other diseases like heart disease and diabetes, so what does this mean for prostate cancer?
Diet to Lower the Risk of Cancer and Recurrence in Men
A prostate cancer diet can help you feel good, recover from treatment and decrease your risk of recurrence. It also can help you live longer and reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. The Dietary Guidelines for Men with Prostate Cancer, published by the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), suggest a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains. The diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to lower cancer risk and recurrence in men.
The UCSF diet is also low in saturated fats, which are found in meat, butter and other dairy products. Instead, the diet is higher in unsaturated fats, which are found in nut, seeds and oily fish. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of prostate cancer. They contain vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals that help keep your body healthy.
You should eat a minimum of eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Choose whole fruit and vegetable options – such as fresh fruits, dried fruit and raw leafy greens. Some of these vegetables contain lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect your prostate and reduce your risk of prostate cancer. These include tomatoes, guava, pineapple and watermelon.
Diet for Men on Prostate Cancer Active Surveillance
In addition to lycopene, certain vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that help your body stay healthy. They include cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussel sprouts), vitamin C-rich foods such as red peppers and tomato products, and garlic. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators found that men on active surveillance for prostate cancer who ate nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day maintained healthier eating patterns over two years.
Meat is a key part of a healthy diet, but it’s important to choose lean meats and limit red meat. Chicken, turkey and fish are lower in saturated fats than red meat and contain fewer calories. If you’re unable to eliminate meat completely, try replacing it with beans, lentils, grains or vegetables instead. Vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage by free radicals.
Dairy Products Proven to Increase Prostate Cancer Risk
High intake of meat, particularly well-done, has been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. This may be because high temperatures cause chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to form. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt have been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, these findings are not conclusive and more research is needed to understand the connection.
Researchers examined more than 2,000 men in a study to find out whether dairy consumption could be linked to increased prostate cancer risk. They found that men who consumed the most dairy–430 grams a day, which is about 1 3/4 cups of milk–faced a 25-percent higher risk of prostate cancer. Similarly, men who ate no dairy products at all faced a 60% higher risk of developing prostate cancer. They also found that the type of dairy–full fat or low fat–does not affect the risk.