A healthy and nutritious diet is vital for maintaining a high quality of life as you age. This is particularly true for men regarding their prostate health. The prostate is a small male gland with a crucial role in reproductive functioning. Healthy nutrition can decrease your risk of developing prostatitis, prostate cancer, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). And even if you develop prostate symptoms, the food you eat can make it feel better or worse. This is why it’s essential to know the food to avoid when it comes to your prostate health. Read on for an exclusive look at the 20 worst foods for prostate health.
Heavy consumption of alcohol has several health consequences, one being prostrate health issues. According to BistroMD, alcohol increases the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms, including difficulty while beginning to urinate and incomplete bladder emptying, and weak urinary stream. Alcohol has diuretic properties that make it even worse for people with prostate issues. Therefore, it is recommendable to quit alcohol consumption or avoid heavy drinking. However, some studies show that moderate alcohol consumption of red wines and some spirits can have a positive impact on prostate health. This is because they increase HDL levels which enhances cardiovascular and prostate health. So, alcohol is not the one that improves prostate health by itself.
Similar to alcohol, caffeine has diuretic properties that increase urinary volume. Caffeine irritates the urinary tract and results in more symptoms than alcohol. Therefore, people suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) should avoid consuming foods and beverages with caffeine. Examples of beverages with caffeine include; coffee, sports drinks, particular types of herbal tea, and more. Drinking them results in increased urinary urgency, urinary incontinence, and urinary frequency. Some studies have also found that caffeine causes increased DHT and testosterone levels in the dorsolateral and ventral regions of the prostate. This means that caffeine might lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
18. Red Meat
Processed and unprocessed red meat is raising concerns as the rate of cancer gradually increases around the globe. According to PubMed.gov, consuming high amounts of red meat is also considered a high-risk factor for prostate cancer. Red meat has carcinogens activated or generated based on your cooking method. Red meat cooked by pan-frying at high temperatures and cooked until well-cooked gives a higher risk of prostate cancer. While there is no specific reason, it is claimed that it is because of the heterocyclic amines in red meat when cooked through these methods. Unlike red meat, poultry does not have such side effects, and fish has a protective effect as it has high omega-3 fatty acids.
17. Non-organic chicken
You probably think that cutting out red meat from your diet can safely eat other types of meat without worrying about your prostate health. However, you will be surprised to know that non-organic white meat like chicken can also harm your prostate and overall health. A good example is battery farm chickens and force-fed turkeys administered with steroids and hormones. Chicken meat has heterocyclic amines that have been demonstrated to induce prostate cancer in rats and destroy DNA in cultured human prostate tissue. To avoid potentially harmful non-organic white meat, always ensure you purchase naturally produced meat.
16. Dairy and Excess Calcium
Eating high amounts of dairy products might increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. According to Oxford Academic, drinking whole milk has increased the risk of getting prostate cancer. Low-fat and skim milk also raise the risk of low-grade stages of prostate cancer. Dairy products have high amounts of calcium intake linked to activating tumor tissue growth in prostate cancer patients. Cheese is one of the dairy products that are not good for your prostate health. Taking high amounts of cheese increases your choline and calcium intake.
Most cheese is made with whole milk and has saturated fats and a significant amount of sodium. Therefore, you should consider limiting your dairy consumption, including; whole milk, full-fat yogurts, full-fat cheeses, whole-fat butter, and full-fat ice cream. Instead, it would help if you consume nonfat or low-fat versions of your favorite dairy products. Some of the non-dairy options to consider include; soy milk, rice milk, flax milk, almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, and coconut milk.
15. Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are highly linked to cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. Several studies have found a relationship between the intake of saturated fat and the risk of prostate cancer but not all the studies have proven these findings. Although more studies are required, decreasing your intake of saturated fats might benefit your prostate health. Saturated fats are commonly found in salad dressings, dairy products, meat, processed foods, and baked goods. Consider replacing saturated fats in your diet with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in foods such as nuts, avocado, fish, seeds, and olive oil.
14. Canned Foods (Under investigation)
Although canned foods offer a convenient option, they may not be suitable for the health of your prostate. Some canned foods have synthetic estrogen known as Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound used in making polycarbonate containers like tin cans. While investigations on BPA are still ongoing, Canada and the European Union have already banned the use of the compound in manufacturing baby bottles. Foods such as tomatoes might soak BPA during storage, affecting your prostate health.
13. Acidic and Spicy Foods
Next on the list of the worst food for prostate health is acidic and spicy foods. According to HealthCareToday, spicy foods tend to inflame the prostate and bladder as well as increase the primary urinary symptoms in men with diminished prostate health. Therefore, you should consider eating less chili, curry, and hot sauce.
While soy might sound healthy, around 95% of U.S. grown soy has been genetically engineered to make soy protein isolate and withstand high herbicide amounts. Soy protein isolate is contained in many products such as fruit drinks, protein bars, cereals, sauces, meal replacement shakes, and supplements. The unfermented soy often hides under terms like textured protein, bouillon, and natural flavor. These are the worst foods for men linked with prostate problems, reproductive issues, mental decline, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Instead, it would be best if you opted for fermented soy products such as fermented bean paste, soy sauce, tempeh, and miso. These are the soy products that offer positive health benefits.
11. Inflammatory Diets
Inflammatory diets are related to a higher risk of prostate cancer. Several research studies have shown that food that tends to trigger inflammation is bad for prostate health. Such foods include; French fries, refined carbohydrates, soda, sugar-sweetened beverages, margarine, and shortenings. Beyond these diets, any food can cause inflammation if you are intolerant. Therefore, ensure to avoid any foods that cause potential inflammation.
10. Fried Foods
If you are looking to maintain good prostate health, another thing you should avoid is fried foods. Foods such as fried chicken, donuts, and fries are linked to a higher prostate cancer risk. Several scientific studies have shown that a regular intake of fried food is linked with a 35% higher risk of prostate cancer. When the oil is heated, carcinogenic compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines might form, potentially causing prostate cancer. Also, high temperatures damage the oil by converting the essential HDL cholesterol into bad LDL cholesterol, which harms your prostate health.
9. Farmed Fish
Farmed fish are often subjected to inorganic treatments meant to make them look better, give them a longer shelf life and keep the cost of production and supply down. Unfortunately, this produces fish that is not healthy for consumption. The fishmeal fed to most of these farmed fish is also high in contaminants, and the fish are often overcrowded, meaning any contamination spreads quickly. This causes the farmed fish to be lower in Omega 3 essential oils and vital Vitamin D and is unhealthy for prostate health. Organic wild fish such as salmon and tuna are the best option for promoting your prostate health.
8. Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar
Sugar and artificial sweeteners are not yet proven to cause prostate cancer directly. However, there are potential reasons for leaving them out of your diet. Excessive sugar consumption has been proven to trigger the onset of Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, and the health issues these conditions cause can be bad for prostate health. The research findings by the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah revealed that cancerous tumor cells use sugar in higher amounts than normal cells. According to Bel Marra Health, it’s better to avoid consuming excessive amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners to the maintenance of robust prostate health.
7. Non-organic vegetables
Low-carb vegetables make a significant part of a healthy diet. However, to maintain good prostate health, you should ensure that the vegetables you consume are organic and untreated with artificial chemicals. This is because non-organic vegetables are in contact with many chemicals before getting into your plate. For instance, the soil and vegetables are treated with herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides absorbed in the vegetables. These toxins could adversely affect our internal system, including prostate health. So, the safest way to keep healthy is to take organic vegetables.
In one research study, men who consume an average of 2.5 or more eggs per week had around 81% higher chances of developing a severe form of prostate cancer than men who take an average of less than half an egg every week. The study also revealed that men who eat many eggs work out less frequently and have a higher BMI. They also had a higher probability of smoking and a family history of prostate cancer. Another research suggests that eating more than five eggs per week could increase the risk of succumbing to prostate cancer. So, while eggs are nutritious and are healthy when taken in moderation, avoid eating them in excess by keeping your prostate health in mind.
5. Sodium / Table Salt
Individuals that prefer consuming high-sodium foods or adding uncooked table salt for better taste are at increased risk of prostate-related symptoms. According to MedicalNewsToday, high amounts of sodium increase voiding symptoms such as incomplete voiding and low urinary stream. The storage symptoms might also worsen by increasing the urinary frequency and causing nocturia. Therefore, you should avoid sodium and instead use spices. Spices are safer and offer many benefits, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances not available in sodium.
4. Non-Grass-Fed Beef
According to research by the American Institute for Cancer Research, there is a connection between the consumption of mass-produced beef and prostate cancer. Cows raised for mass beef marketing are fed on foods cows are not meant to eat, such as grain, soy, and corn. These foods activate a chemical response in the cow’s digestive system to fight foreign substances. These unnatural components in the foods might be why men who consume these non-grass-fed beef are 12% more likely to get prostate cancer than those who consume organic, grass-fed beef free of hormones or additives. This is also the case for pork and lamb raised with feed not ideal to their metabolism to a little lesser degree.
3. High-Glycemic Carbohydrate Foods
High-glycemic carbs refer to refined or simple carbohydrate foods such as refined cereals, white flour, and white rice. A research review shows that higher-glycemic carbohydrates associate higher prostate cancer occurrence. High-glycemic foods can increase insulin levels, which triggers the increased production and secretion of sex steroid hormones, which are massive contributors to the development of prostate cancer. The high-glycemic diet also changes the gut microbiome, which is linked to prostate issues.
2. Smoked Foods
Smoking foods such as nuts and meats have considerable amounts of tar. Eating these food types significantly increases the risk of prostate cancer. Smoked foods are high in fats and salts, which are bad for your prostate health. Also, tobacco and cigarette smoking increases the risk of prostate cancer and with developing aggressive prostate cancer.
1. Salad Dressings
In most cases, salad dressings are unhealthy. Most of them are processed foods as they are filled and packed with artificial chemicals. Also, they are often salty and contain high amounts of saturated fats. Commercial salad dressings are hence unhealthy for your prostate health. Instead, it would be best to consider using olive oil on spices, which is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory substances that benefit the prostate and overall health.
These are the 20 worst foods for prostate health. Although avoiding these foods cannot guarantee you won’t develop prostate issues, it should help reinforce your general health and means you will do relatively better if you have prostate problems. Some of the best foods for enhancing your prostate health include; salmon, broccoli, berries, nuts, and cooked tomatoes.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson