Four thousand five hundred seventy-seven prostate cancer patients can’t be wrong. At least, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported some interesting findings after tracking that many men with non-metastatic prostate cancer between 1986-2010.
Those men who replaced 10% of their total daily calories from carbohydrates with healthy fats from nuts, vegetables, seeds, canola oil and olive oil had a 29% reduction in risk of prostate cancer progression to a more dangerous form of the disease. In addition, they had a 26% lower risk of dying from ALL CAUSES!
Even if you don’t want to go through all the calculations to figure out how many carb-related calories you consume, you can make small, easy-to-measure changes that still produce benefits. For example, adding a single ounce of nuts per day may lower your risk of developing lethal PCa by 18%, and lowering your death risk by 11%. (NOTE: Peanuts are NOT nuts – they are legumes. Don’t be fooled.)
The cardiovascular advantages of eating unsaturated fats and nuts are very well known. They are high in antioxidants so they keep cells healthy, boost your immune system, and reduce the effects of aging. In addition, Erin Richman, lead author of the study “Fat Intake After Diagnosis and Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer and All-Cause Mortality”[i], theorizes that consuming healthy oils and nuts reduces inflammation and insulin which may help head off prostate cancer progression.
As long as you’re contemplating adding nuts to your diet, consider eating more cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. An earlier study in which Richman was a co-author found that prostate cancer patients who did so reduced their chances of PCa progression by 59%.
The next time you have the munchies, grab a handful of mixed nuts and put out a plate of broccoli and cauliflower florets with some olive oil vinaigrette dressing for dipping. Your prostate and your heart will both thank you.