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Take the Pledge

Remove the crud in your diet! Junk food, processed food and fatty foods have been linked to prostate cancer risk. Plant-based foods, on the other hand, have been shown to offer protection. Consider removing one health-depleting food from your diet for 30 days. Doing so not only will help you raise prostate cancer awareness, but you’ll be proactive in the mission for prevention.

I pledge to remove one of these items for 30 days:

Fatty Foods

Many of the fatty foods we commonly eat may be harmful1. Diets higher in fat can boost inflammation linked to prostate cancer progression2. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for prevention since obesity is a risk factor for prostate cancer3. Meat creates carcinogens when tossed on the grill (4). Red meat consumption is associated with prostate cancer risk5. And dairy products have been associated with increased prostate cancer risk6.

Choose one food to give up: Fried chicken, grilled meats (steak, chicken, fish), ground beef, sausages, milk or cheese.

Replace with: Edamame, tofu or tempeh. Pinto, black and/or garbanzo beans. Green, red and yellow lentil and split-peas. Plant-based sources of calcium including figs, green vegetables (collards, kale, broccoli), oranges, almonds, and blackstrap molasses.

Processed Foods

Processed meat and cancer have a strong connection. It’s likely due to a combination of saturated fat, nitrites (preservatives) and heme iron found in animal tissue. New recognition by the World Heath Organization lists processed meats as a class one carcinogen5.

Choose one food to give up: Deli lunch meats, bacon, ham, pastrami, hot-dogs, sausages, canned meats and smoked fish.

Replace with: Avocado, hummus, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Junk Foods

Eating more junk foods and following a Western diet may lead to increased prostate cancer risk7. This might be why the American Institutes for Cancer Research recommends choosing foods that are nutrient-dense (beans and vegetables) while limiting or avoiding calorie-dense foods (sugary drinks, candy)8. Choosing more whole-foods is the key. Nature knows best and packages the right nutrients in a way that the body can recognize and retain for optimal nutrition.

Choose one food to give up: Sugar-sweetened beverages and cereals, candy, donuts, cakes and cookies using refined flours.

Replace with: Fresh fruit or whole-grain desserts made with natural sweeteners like dates, figs and raisins. Sparkling water with lemon or lime over soda. A small piece of dark chocolate in place of a milk chocolate dessert.


Sources & Articles
  1. Mandair D, Rossi R, Pericleous M, Whyand T, Caplin ME. Prostate cancer and the influence of dietary factors and supplements: a systematic review. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2014;16:11-30.
  2. Shankar E, Bhaskaran N, MacLennan GT, Liu G, Daneshgari F, Gupta S. Inflammatory Signaling Involved in High-Fat Diet Induced Prostate Diseases. J Urol Res. 2015:1;2(1).
  3. Zhang X, Zhou G, Sun B. et al. Impact of obesity upon prostate cancer-associated mortality: A meta-analysis of 17 cohort studies. Oncol Lett. 2015;9(3):1307-1312.
  4. NCI. Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk. Available at. http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cooked-meats-fact-sheet. (accessed November 1, 2015).
  5. International Agency for Research on Cancer: Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat. Press Release, October 26, 2015. Available at: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf. (acceessed November 1, 2015)
  6. Gonzales JF, Barnard ND, Jenkins DJ. et al. Applying the precautionary principle to nutrition and cancer. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(3):239-46.
  7. Yang M. Kenfield S, Van Blarigan E. Dietary patterns after prostate cancer diagnosis in relation to disease-specific and total mortality. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2015;8(6):545-51.
  8. American Institute for Cancer Research. Recommendations for Cancer Prevention. Available at: http://www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/recommendations-for-cancer-prevention/. (accessed November 1, 2015).