Your body needs protein to help it to grow and repair. The recommended amount of protein needed for a man under the age of 50 years is 56 grams a day and 53 grams for a man over the age of 50. A recent study showed that eating large amounts of protein from dairy products, such as cheese, may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Try choosing non-dairy sources of protein such as fish, nuts, beans and lentils.
Processed meat such as ham, bacon and sausages may increase your risk of prostate cancer. These meats often contain high levels of salt and nitrates which researchers think may be a factor in cancer risk. Try to cut down on this type of meat and if possible choose lean meat instead.
Some research also suggests that meat cooked at very high temperatures can increase your risk of prostate cancer. Scientists think that when meat is burnt or charred it may produce chemicals, called free radicals, which can damage normal cells.
When you eat fat your body breaks it down into smaller parts, uses what it needs and stores any remaining fat for future use. You need some fat for your body to function properly so you should aim for a low fat diet rather than a fat free diet. Too much fat in your diet can increase your risk of health problems such as heart disease. Think about the type of fats that you eat and try to replace saturated fats with foods that are rich in unsaturated fats. High levels of unhealthy saturated fat are found in food such as cakes, butter and meat products.
Dairy sources of calcium
Amount of calcium
Semi-skimmed milk (200ml portion)
Cheddar cheese (40g portion)
Plain low fat yoghurt (150g portion)
Choose low-fat versions of these foods where possible. Non-dairy alternatives, such as soya milk, are widely available in supermarkets and health food shops.
Non-dairy sources of calcium
Amount of calcium
Tinned sardines (100g portion)
Kale (95g portion)
Broccoli (85g portion)
Kidney beans (60g portion)
Tofu (100g portion)
Foods that are high in healthier unsaturated fat include nuts, oily fish, vegetable oil and olive oil.
We cannot say for certain whether reducing your overall fat intake can lower your risk of prostate cancer. Some studies have shown a link between fats found in red meat and dairy products and an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. However, other studies found that eating fat or red meat does not affect your risk of prostate cancer. Some research suggests that fats in oily fish may lower your risk of prostate cancer and reduce the chances of cancer becoming advanced. Fish oil supplements do not appear to have the same benefit so aim to eat oily fish two or three times each week.
Cut down on fat by:
• Choosing tomato-based sauces instead of creamy ones.
• Replacing fatty snacks like crisps and biscuits with fruit.
• Avoiding processed meat and eating less red meat.
• Removing any skin from chicken or turkey.
• Using less fat in cooking. Grill, bake or steam food instead of frying.
• Choosing low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and yoghurt or replacing these with dairy-free alternatives like soya or rice milk.
Zinc is good for the immune system and is found naturally in red meat, chicken, seafood, nuts and dairy products. The recommended safe limit for zinc supplements is 25mg a day. However taking high doses, or taking supplements for several years, may increase your risk of prostate cancer.
The low rates of prostate cancer in Asian men may be partly due to their soy-rich diet. However, there is uncertainty about whether eating soy can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and only one large study has so far shown a protective effect. Many new soy products are becoming available in most health food shops and supermarkets including soy milk, soy yoghurts, soy nuts and soy bread. If you decide to add soy to your diet, try to choose traditional forms