Everyone knows that on average, U.S. citizens live in the most privileged country on the globe, yet eat the worst possible diet. Right? According to the Medical Dictionary, the Western diet is “A diet with inadequate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, and low-fat dairy products and excessive amounts of refined and processed foods, alcohol, salt, red meats, sugary beverages, snacks, eggs and butter. The Western diet, which is low in potassium, high in sodium, fats, and simple carbohydrates, has been implicated in many diseases… “[i] There are other names for this poor way of eating, including The Standard American Diet, and the meat-sweet diet.
To be fair, the U.S. is no longer the only country guilty of such widespread lack of healthy eating. As nations become more Westernized, empty carbs, processed foods, fast foods and lots of fats are cropping up all over the planet. I remember some years ago coming across a news item about a Krispy Kremes donut shop that had opened sometime back at Heathrow Airport outside of London. Apparently, the donuts were a big hit with Londoners who actually made the trip to the airport to get those treats—and who found they were adding inches to their waist and hips!
Among the illnesses linked with the Western diet are
- Heart disease
- High “bad” cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolaemia)
- Type II diabetes
- Colorectal cancer
Now it seems prostate cancer must be added to the list. A team of Italian researchers thoroughly reviewed published studies on the relationship between dietary factors and prostate cancer risk.[ii] Using the 12 studies that met their inclusion criteria, they were able to analyze and compare the PCa correlation between healthy diets (higher levels of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, poultry and fish[iii]) and the Western diet. They found that while there was no association between healthy eating and PCa risk, the Western style of eating increased it significantly. For diets especially high in simple carbohydrates, the risk was even greater.
The moral of the story is clear: Protecting your prostate gland is reinforced by increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, lean white meat, whole grains and other healthy foods such as nuts and seeds. At the same time, cut back on empty carbs, unhealthy fats, sugar, red meats and refined/processed foods. And there’s a bonus: you will promote the wellbeing of your cardiovascular system and all other organs. Start now to invest in a long, and healthy life – hopefully free of prostate cancer as well.
[ii] Fabiani R, Minelli L, Bertarelli G, Bacci S. A Western Dietary Pattern Increases Prostate Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2016 Oct 12;8(10). pii: E626.