A Healthy Diet May Reduce Your Risk of Prostate Cancer
Only 12 percent of Americans can accurately estimate the number of calories they need to eat per day to maintain their current weight, according to a national survey of health behaviors. For men, a high-calorie diet may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. Altering your dietary habits reduces your risk of prostate cancer and improves overall health.
What If I Already Have Prostate Cancer?
With over 200,000 men developing prostate cancer each year, the disease is a serious public health concern. Once you have cancer, changing your diet isn’t a viable treatment for the disease. Most men choose to get conventional radiation therapy, prostate surgery, or simply monitor the condition to see how it progresses. Another alternative intervention is proton therapy, in which a higher dose of radiation is delivered to the precise location of the cancerous cells. This therapy has fewer side effects than most conventional techniques. Whether you have prostate cancer or are trying to prevent the disease, adopting a healthy, low-calorie diet is a smart way to improve your overall health.
How to Calculate Your Daily Caloric Need
Each of us needs a different number of calories per day. Your daily caloric requirement refers to the amount of calories you should consume to maintain your weight. Weight, height, sex, physical activity level and metabolic speed are all factors that affect your caloric needs. Use an online calculator to determine how many calories you need to maintain your weight. If you consume more calories than your body needs, you will store the excess energy as fat.
Risks of Consuming Too Many Calories
Many Americans consume more calories than they need because they don’t follow a balanced diet. Although one primary result of an imbalanced diet is weight gain and obesity, eating too many calories can cause other serious health problems. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging conducted a study that followed 444 men over a period of several years. Of these men, 68 developed prostate cancer during or after the study. Researchers found that men who consumed more calories—an average of 2,600 per day—were 3.8 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who consumed relatively few calories.
Healthy Diet to Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk
Following a healthy, low-calorie diet can reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer and increase your longevity. Aim to eat no more than your average daily caloric need. To improve your diet, carefully note your intake of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy products. Adult men require at least three servings each of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.
Incorporate apples, oranges, pears, bananas, berries, grapefruit, carrots, leafy greens, tomatoes, squash, beets, broccoli, and peppers into your meals to get beneficial vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables have the added benefit of being relatively low in energy density. This means that they fill you up without adding a large number of calories to your diet.
The typical American diet consists of processed grains, such as white flour, white rice, pasta, or other starches. Whole grains are healthier alternatives to these foods. Substituting wheat flour, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, or quinoa for refined grains improves your overall health. The American Heart Association recommends eating 6 ounces of grains per day, with at least 3 ounces coming from whole-grain sources.
Red Meat Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk
Some scientific studies have linked red meat consumption to the development of prostate cancer. Although it can be hard to give up meat, consider decreasing your red meat consumption to one or two times per week. Substitute salmon, mackerel, cod, trout, tuna, or other fish for meat. Other healthy protein sources include egg whites, skinless chicken breasts, lean turkey, nuts, seeds, and soy products.