FAT CONSUMPTION AND PROSTATE CANCER: AVOIDING ANIMAL FATS

Other investigations also indicate that diets heavy in meat may change prostate cancers from dormant to malignant. Since meat poses a threat to the heart and has been associated with cancer, let's look at both meat and meat substitutes. This is an important group, for it is a major source of protein, which our bodies need to replace dead cells and to form new ones. We must have an adequate intake of protein to maintain good health and to recover from illness and injury. But we can do this and still avoid diets high in red meat, which appear to be cancer's preferred fuel.

Saturated fats, such as those found in red meat and whole dairy products, are the elements to avoid. Polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in olive oil, are not considered to put people at a higher risk for cancer.

Poultry and fish are rich in high-quality protein and can be used as inexpensive substitutes for red meat. Legumes, such as dried beans, soybeans, and dried peas, do not contain as high-quality a protein, but when they are eaten with rice, corn, or a little lean meat, their protein can rival that of meat. All grains and dried legumes contain vitamins, fiber, and proteins while having little fat content and no refined sugar (another food that does not contribute to good health). Red meat products, such as lamb, beef, pork, veal, duck, high-fat poultry with skin, dark meat of either chicken or turkey, and organ meats should be avoided.

Whole-milk dairy products, such as butter, milk, cream, cottage cheese, and yogurt, should be cut out, and their low-fat or nonfat counterparts used instead. Egg whites provide a complete protein while all the cholesterol is found in the yolk, so consider using the egg white and discarding the rest.

Seventh-Day Adventists tend not to eat the typical American diet. They generally eat whole grains, vegetables, and nuts and avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine-containing beverages, spices, and highly refined foods. Many of them don't eat meat, and their death rate from intestinal cancer is 20 percent below the average in the United States. Studies at the Loma Linda School of Health in California have shown that they also have consistently lower cholesterol levels. A long-term study of47,000 Seventh-Day Adventists revealed a much lower death rate than for the general population, and those who were strict vegetarians had the lowest death rate.

The studies also showed that Seventh-Day Adventists who reported consuming the most meat, milk, cheese, and eggs were more than three times as likely to die of prostate cancer within twenty years than were Seventh-Day Adventists who said they ate the lowest amounts of those foods. Other studies related to Seventh-Day Adventists revealed that the men who drank two glasses of milk per day had almost twice the risk of developing prostate cancer of those who drank one glass. Three glasses of milk increased the odds even more.

Cholesterol

New studies indicate a strong possibility that foods that impair the heart are also harmful to the prostate. There is reason to suspect a possible association between prostate tumors and cholesterol, because testosterone, which is recognized as promoting tumor growth, has a chemical structure with important similarities to that of cholesterol. There is the possibility that high levels of cholesterol cause excess testosterone production. Animal fats create excess cholesterol in the bloodstream. Foods high in saturated fats include butter, ice cream, cheese, egg yolks, liver, meat, creams, and gravies.

Fat is the main culprit in raising blood cholesterol. It is a dangerous factor in increasing the risk of heart disease.

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