A significant diet change is not usually welcomed, but when your health and wellbeing are at stake, the adjustment can be pretty easy to make. When it comes to your prostate – a small gland that is a part of the male reproductive system – there are a few foods that are better left uneaten. The categories of food and reasons they cause prostate cancer to spread and intensify vary. There are five types of foods, in particular, that should specifically be omitted from your diet entirely, or at least consumed in moderation:
1. Red and Processed Meat
Although it might be your favorite thing on the menu, it’s best to avoid eating both red and processed meat. Extensive research has shown that men who consume more than the suggested amount of meat in general have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, which is likely due to heterocyclic acids (HCAs) – carcinogens found in meat that is cooked, formed during broiling or grilling. Stay away from beef, pork, hot dogs, lunch meats and sausage.
While milk boasts an amazing amount of benefits, like assisting with bone development, consuming a large amount of milk has proven to be harmful to your prostate’s health. The natural growth hormones it contains could stimulate the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors, precancerous lesions and mutated cells. There have been 14 studies that have proven this, in which milk stimulated the growth of human prostate cancer cells. Whole milk increases a man’s risk of getting fatal prostate cancer, and skim and low-fat milk increase their risk of getting low-grade stages of the illness. Almond milk, however, is a safe alternative to cow’s milk, and can be consumed as a replacement.
It was found that heavy alcohol drinkers were twice as likely to get advanced prostate cancer, in comparison to men who drank alcohol in moderation. In the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial where this data was retrieved – in which over 10,000 men participated – the heavy alcoholic drinkers were those who consumed more than three drinks per day, or more than 20 in a one-week span. Large amounts of alcohol are clearly correlated to the development of prostate cancer, but if you only treat yourself to a drink every once in awhile, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.
4. Saturated fats
A kind of fat that has a high proportion of fatty acid molecules without double bonds, saturated fats haven’t earned the best reputation in the food world – and for good reason. Even though it has been popularly tied to heart disease, saturated fats have become a possible risk factor for prostate cancer as well. Found in dairy products, meat, salad dressing, processed foods and baked goods, men who want to avoid prostate cancer should avoid these at all costs. Looking for a healthier alternative? Try eating monounsaturated and polyunsaturated foods like fish, avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
5. Eggs and Poultry
In a study conducted by Harvard University, men who consumed even a small part of an egg each day for several years actually had twice the risk of their prostate cancer spreading when compared to those men who rarely ate eggs, if any at all. Choline – a compound found in eggs –could be the culprit, because high levels of choline in the blood have been associated with an increased risk of developing prostate cancer before. The same could be said in a different trial in regards to poultry consumption – men who ate turkey and chicken regularly were up to four times as likely to have their prostate cancer progress, which could be from the carcinogens in cooked meat. So, it’s smart to cut out the eggs and poultry from your diet – especially if you already have prostate cancer and do not want it to get worse.
It can be really troubling, stressful and challenging to live with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, especially if you already see a urologist for other male-related medical conditions like infertility or low testosterone. In addition to avoiding these foods, it’s almost crucial to get treated by a prostate cancer specialist. Ron Israeli, M.D., PC, is a board certified urologist and fellowship-trained expert in urologic oncology who treats patients for prostate cancer in his Livingston, New Jersey office. With over 25 years of experience in urological surgery and prostate cancer treatment and research, Ron Israeli is truly the one to trust when it comes to a getting rid of your prostate cancer and preventing it from spreading and worsening. Contact his office by filling out a contact form on the website, or by phone at 973-251-2055.