What to Eat: Advice for Men with Prostate Cancer

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Some prostate cancer experts recommend that men diagnosed with prostate cancer eat a plant-based diet. A lot of men might hear that and wonder if that means they need to become vegetarians or adopt a vegan diet. Do they?

In reality, the recommendation is more nuanced than that, and whether a man wants to include animal sources of protein in his diet is more of a personal choice. If he does, healthier options, such as fish and skinless poultry, are recommended.

Although red meat is not a recommended choice, it’s probably OK to have it on special occasions, as long as leaner cuts, such as top sirloin, are chosen. And avoid processed meats such as hot dogs and cold cuts, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified as carcinogenic (substances that cause cancer) in humans. Avoid processed red meat, in particular.

Is it OK to fire up the grill?

Scientists have known for some time that cooking beef, pork, poultry, or fish at high temperatures, such as those involved in grilling over an open flame (as well as pan frying), produces substances called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to cancer. As a rule, lower-temperature cooking methods such as baking and roasting are preferable.

If you want to enjoy the thrill of the grill occasionally, remove any skin on the meat before eating it. That’s because the cancer-causing toxins appear to be more concentrated in the skin, which is also a source of unhealthy saturated fat, so it’s best to avoid it.