It is no secret that a low-fat, high-fiber diet combined with weight loss and exercise is essential to maintain one’s health and vitality. Regardless of whether you are looking to make a lasting lifestyle change to decrease the potential for illness, or whether you are suffering from a serious disease, such as prostate cancer, dietary changes are a healthy choice to make. However, there seems to be a direct correlation between their diet and prostate cancer.
One such diet that seems to be effective would be a diet low in saturated fat, high in vegetable protein and low in animal protein, including dairy products. It is considered to be a diet that is associated with a substantial increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) doubling time and an increase in quality of life. The reason why this is significant is because PSA is used as a marker for prostate cancer; the higher the number becomes, the greater the risk of contracting prostate cancer or prostatitis.
The doubling time is the time that it takes for PSA levels to increase by 100 percent.
Although there is nothing on the market that will prevent prostate cancer, a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and fish can make significant strides toward reducing the risk of contracting the disease. It has been found that a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are the kind found in salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines, protect against advanced prostate cancer.
Diet and lifestyle choices play a significant role in everyone’s health and there is no substitute for a diet that is balanced and free of known carcinogens. In addition, supplementing the diet with vitamins and daily exercise is another added layer of protection. A multivitamin such as a B-complex and folic acid should be taken daily; however, avoid supplements with high doses of zinc. The research that has been done has demonstrated that some medications and supplements that had previously been considered steps toward preventing prostate cancer, now do not appear as promising.
No man is immune from contracting prostate cancer or from the probable precursor condition of an enlarged prostate, but the greatest risk categories appear to be men who are older, men with a family history of prostate cancer and black men, all factors that cannot be controlled. Therefore, with this knowledge in place, it is important to be proactive and concentrate on the area that is controllable – diet.
The guidelines are simple but bear repeating. They are:
- Don’t overeat. Eat in moderation and maintain calorie count control.
- Avoid foods that are high in fat. Foods that are high in saturated fats, such as animal fats found in red meat, may pose the greatest risk. Studies have shown that a diet with excess fat, primarily red meat and high-fat dairy, stimulates prostate cancer growth.
- Make healthy food choices. Go for whole-grain foods such as brown rice and whole grain breads while limiting sweets and salt intake.
- Moderate consumption of alcohol. Moderation means no more than two drinks per day.
- Increase amount of fish to your diet, particularly salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout. Fish is high in alpha omega-3 fatty acids and should be added to the diet two or three times per week.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have been linked to a reduced risk of many kinds of cancer. Eating plenty of vegetables may help ward of prostate cancer.