Eat Plants, Not Meat: Dietary Guidelines Should Follow American Cancer Society Recommendations

dietary guidelines to eat plant-based foodsThe 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans should reflect the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) new recommendations calling for Americans to base their diets on fruits, vegetables, grains and beans, and to cut out red and processed meat.

The new ASC guidelines say that a healthy eating pattern includes a variety of vegetables (including fiber-rich legumes), fruits and whole grains. It does not include red and processed meats. Continue reading “Eat Plants, Not Meat: Dietary Guidelines Should Follow American Cancer Society Recommendations”

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Prostate Cancer Risk: Dairy Products or Vegan Diet?

tomato soupResearch shows that men who consume three or more servings of low- or high-fat dairy products a day had a 141% higher risk for death due to prostate cancer compared to those who consumed less than one serving. Other research has also linked dairy to increased prostate cancer risk and mortality. Red and processed meat and eggs are also associated with increased risk for prostate cancer.

On the other hand, eating a plant-based diet has been linked to lower prostate cancer risk and slower progression if diagnosed. Fruits and vegetables rich in lycopene (the bright red pigment found in tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit) may be especially beneficial. Continue reading “Prostate Cancer Risk: Dairy Products or Vegan Diet?”

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Media Hype Takes a Shot at Fish Oil

A study published earlier this week linking fish oil to prostate cancer has triggered a minor frenzy in the news media. In recent years, fish oil has been the proverbial “golden boy” of the supplement world, winning bout after bout and racking up benefits related to conditions from depression to heavyweights like cardiovascular disease. No surprise then that the moment a contender threatens the crown, the media is all over the opportunity to smear this truly valuable dietary component.

The study examined associations between blood omega-3 fatty acid levels and risk of prostate cancer in men. Men with higher blood levels of omega-3’s had a 71% higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer than men with lower blood levels. Study authors conclude that findings suggest that these blood fats are likely involved in prostate tumor development.

I know of no other single study for which the drawn conclusions have been more wrongly stretched, strengthened and extrapolated than this one. Media outlets twisted the result to mean that supplementing with fish oil and even eating fish could cause prostate cancer!

There are two pieces to the problem here.  Continue reading “Media Hype Takes a Shot at Fish Oil”

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Vitamin E: Link to Prostate Cancer?

A new study in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) found that long-term use of vitamin E increased the risk of prostate cancer. The study showed that a dose of 400 IU vitamin E was not likely to provide benefit for preventing cancer, and in fact found an increased risk for developing prostate cancer. However, when vitamin E was combined with selenium, the risk was reduced even more than with the placebo.

Perhaps this is evidence of the importance of nutrients working together in synergy as opposed to isolating one specific nutrient.

So, should men stop taking vitamin E? Well, this is the first study that has shown a significant link towards cancer. So, talk to your doctor or health care practitioner about what is best for you. If you continue to take vitamin E, choose one that encompasses all aspects of vitamin E as well as the mineral selenium.

Do not disregard the importance of vitamin E in our lives. Deficiencies can result in many issues such as digestive system problems where nutrients are poorly absorbed from the digestive tract. These problems include pancreatic disease, gallbladder disease, liver disease, and celiac disease. Vitamin E deficiency symptoms can also include neuropathy, muscle weakness, slow tissue repair and dry skin and hair. Diet is still the best way to get most nutrients, and luckily vitamin E is readily available in many foods.

A diet rich in foods that contain vitamin E has actually shown to be beneficial in reducing prostate risk. Sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, egg yolks and whole grains are all great dietary sources of vitamin E and can easily help meet your daily vitamin E requirement without supplementation.

 

 

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  • Paula Gallagher
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September 2020
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