In a recent study led by Jorge Chavarro, of the Harvard School of Public Health has suggested that men with prostate cancer who engage in a diet which is high in fat are at a significantly much higher risk of dying from the disease. His team followed nearly a thousand U.S. doctors over the course of fourteen years and who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Chavarro’s research group surveyed the men’s dietary patterns to determine if participants ate a “Western” diet which is characterized as being high in red meat, high-fat dairy products, sugary foods and “refined” grains or if they ate a healthy diet which consists of fruit, vegetables, legumes (beans, peanuts, lentils), whole grains and fish.
While the study was unable to demonstrate cause-and-effect, researchers found that men who scored highest in relation to their Western diet were found to be 2.5 times more likely to die from prostate cancer. While 67% of those would die from another health related cause, than those who scored the lowest in the study. Interestingly, men who scored highest in regards to their healthier eating habits were found to be 36% percent less inclined to die from any number of health related issues than those individuals who scored the lowest. Of the study’s findings Chavarro stated:
“There is currently very little evidence to counsel men living with prostate cancer on how they can modify their lifestyle to improve survival. Our results suggest that a heart-healthy diet may benefit these men by specifically reducing their chances of dying of prostate cancer.”
Researchers also emphasized that the majority of the men involved in the study were Caucasian and that their results may have differed if the study had involved men of different races. Dr. Michael Schwartz, a urologist at the Arthur Smith Institute for Urology expanded further into why the “Western” diet has developed its awful reputation:
“Diets high in animal fat and low in fiber are associated with metabolic syndrome — a collection of conditions including abdominal obesity, elevated blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. It has been known for some time that this type of diet can elevate risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and various cancers.”
A good nutritional suggestion for men looking to change their eating habits are the Japanese and Southern Mediterranean diets. These particular diets have been associated in reducing a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer and both are low in red meat which is a staple of the “Western” diet. The Japanese diet consists of foods such as fish, vegetables, soy, green tea and is low in fat and calories. The Southern Mediterranean diet is consisted of fresh fruits, vegetables, red wine, fish and olive oil. Before deciding on changing your diet be sure to consult your doctor first and that you understand what your options are. In the meantime however why don’t you try trading that T-bone steak for the salmon instead. It could be more important than you think.