Foods to Avoid if You Have Prostate Cancer – by Dr. Paul Song M.D

Foods to Avoid if You Have Prostate Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. Paul Song M.D

Common foods that may cause prostate cancer could be in your fridge and pantry right now. It is important to be an informed shopper so you can know where your food is coming from and how it is packaged to avoid hormones, chemicals, and carcinogens. Here is what you need to know about common foods to avoid for prostate cancer whether you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or are concerned about prevention.

Which Foods to Avoid for Prostate Cancer?

If you have been newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, watching what you eat and following The Prostate Diet can help with your longevity and immunity. Here’s a list of foods to avoid for prostate cancer because they may increase inflammation, come with chemicals and hormones, or may encourage cancer growth.        

Artificial Sweeteners

In 2009, researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah deciphered part of the process by which tumor cells use more glucose (sugar) than normal cells, a fact that has been known since 1923. Both sugar and artificial sweeteners have been shown in studies and trials to be a potential “precursor” for cancer growth but despite this, the FDA and other government bodies continue to allow these artificial sweeteners in our foods. These include aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), cyclamate (banned in the USA because of link to cancer but used in some other countries), neotame, saccharin (Sweet ‘n Low), and sucralose (Splenda).

Although there are no studies directly linking intake of artificial sweeteners with cancer in humans, countless animal studies have, including several from Italian researchers associating sucralose with leukemia in mice. Because of the uncertainty concerning the cancer-causing impact of artificial sweeteners, as well as their negative impact on gut bacteria and metabolism, it’s recommended you avoid them.

Calcium and Dairy Foods

Dairy foods are a source of many nutrients, but most notably calcium and protein. When it comes to prostate cancer, one concern is with the amount of calcium men get from dairy, as calcium intake has been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, investigators examined the diets of 142,251 men and especially their intake of animal foods, protein, and calcium. After an average of 8.7 years of follow-up, 2,727 men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of the men with prostate cancer, 1,131 had localized disease while 541 had advanced stage prostate cancer. The dietary data analysis indicated that calcium found in dairy foods (but not other foods) and a high intake of dairy protein were both associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.The results supported the authors’ hypothesis: “that a high intake of protein or calcium from dairy products may increase the risk for prostate cancer.”

The risk of developing prostate cancer appears to begin early in life. One study found that adolescent boys who drank milk daily had a more than threefold increased risk of developing advanced prostate cancer later in life.

Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Products

Although tomatoes and tomato products support and promote prostate health, especially because of their high lycopene content, you should avoid tomato foods packaged in cans. The resin linings of aluminum cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a synthetic estrogen that can leach into the tomatoes because they are acidic. BPA is associated with an increased risk of cancer and other health problems. There are a few companies that are starting to make BPA-free canned tomatoes. They are harder to find, but look for aseptic BPA-free packaging or glass.


Fried, barbecued, and cured chicken are high on Dr. Michael Gregor’s list of foods for men to avoid because of the carcinogenic compounds that can be present in these items. In a study of 1,294 men with prostate cancer, for example, greater consumption of poultry with skin was associated with a twofold increased risk of disease progression.

One explanation for this danger is that poultry with skin has high levels of heterocyclic amines, mutagens found in much greater concentrations in well-done poultry than in other meats. Heterocyclic amines have been shown to induce prostate cancer in rats and attach to and damage DNA in cultured human prostate tissue.


Whether they are fried, boiled, poached, or over easy, eggs aren’t so easy on your health. Whole eggs are a rich source of choline, a nutrient that has been associated with a greater risk of prostate cancer. While cooked fresh eggs contain nearly 300 mg per egg, dried eggs provide more than four times that amount. Eating whole eggs has been associated with a twofold increased risk of prostate cancer progression. Researchers suggest this higher risk is associated with the high level of choline. Choline concentrations are higher in malignant prostate cells than in healthy cells. A Harvard School of Public Health study noted that among the 47,896 men in its study, intake of choline was associated with an increased risk of deadly prostate cancer.

Farmed Salmon

It’s common knowledge that salmon is a good source of the healthy fat, omega-3 fatty acids. However, you want the benefits of those fats without the negative effects from farmed salmon. Farmed salmon are crammed into pens, fed soy and fishmeal (which is high in contaminants), dosed with antibiotics, and colored with artificial dyes to make them pink. The result is fish that are lower in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, and higher in contaminants (e.g., PCBs, brominated flame retardants, dioxin, DDT) than wild salmon.

Farmed salmon is not the only farmed fish that should be avoided, because the way they are raised is similar for other types of fish as well. Verify the source of any fish you buy.

French Fries and Potato Chips

Who doesn’t love the taste of fried potatoes? Unfortunately, French fries and potato chips are some of the most unhealthy foods you can eat. You don’t need us to tell you that they are filled with saturated fat and salt, but they also contain acrylamide, which is a possible carcinogen. Boiling or other forms of cooking potatoes do not cause acrylamide to form — just frying. Also, non-organic potatoes are one of the most contaminated foods. They absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides from the soil. These toxins cannot be washed off because they are in the flesh of the potato. When you buy potatoes choose organic and bake or boil them instead frying.

Non-organic Meats

Non-organic meat contains antibiotics, steroids, and other hormones. About two-thirds of the cattle in the U.S.A. are given testosterone and estrogen to increase growth and meat yield. The residues from these hormones in the meat may promote the development of prostate cancer. Cows who are not raised organically are fed foods that are not part of their natural diet of grass, including corn, soybeans, and other grains to fatten them up. All of this is bad news for your prostate.

Insulin-like grown factor (IGF-1) is a hormone found in meat and dairy products that may increase risk of prostate cancer. A study by the university of Oxford team discovered that men with high levels of IGF-1 were up to 40% more likely to develop prostate cancer than men with low levels of the hormone.

Non-organic Potatoes

Potatoes can be a very good non-fat, high-fiber food choice, but beware: they are exposed to several doses of poisons. Potatoes absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides from the soil, they are treated with fungicides while they are growing, the vines are sprayed with herbicides before harvest, and then once the potatoes are dug up, they are treated again to prevent them from sprouting. You cannot wash away the chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh of the potato. The only safe solution is to buy organic potatoes. When you eat out, chances are the potatoes on the menu won’t be organic, so choose wisely.

Red and Processed Meats

A link between red meat and processed meats and cancer has been well established. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), processed meats (e.g., bacon, sausage, bologna) are a class 1 carcinogen, which means there is strong evidence that they cause cancer. Red meat, such as beef, pork, veal, mutton, and lamb, have been classified as a probable cause of cancer.

Dozens of studies have examined the role of meat in causing prostate cancer. For example, in a case-control study conducted at Harvard University involving nearly 15,000 male physicians, the investigators found that men who consumed red meat at least five times a week had a relative risk of 2.5 for developing prostate cancer when compared with men who ate red meat less than once a week.

In a subsequent study of more than 175,000 men spanning 1995 to 2003, the researchers evaluated the meat consumption of the participants, including the type of meat consumed and how it was cooked. By 2003, 10,313 men had developed prostate cancer, and 419 of these had died. The authors found that after they adjusted for factors known to increase the risk of prostate cancer, they discovered that “men who ate the most red meat were 12 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer and 33 percent more likely to have advanced cancer than those who ate the least amount of red meat”.

The same study also found that processed meats are associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer. When the authors compared red processed meats (e.g., bacon, bologna) with white varieties (e.g., processed turkey slices) the red meats were linked to a greater cancer risk than the white meats. Processed and cured meats also contain nitrates, which are preservatives added to meats such as cold cuts and bacon. These preservatives are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

When meat (especially red) is cooked at very high temperatures, compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed. These compounds have been linked to various cancers in humans. A Vanderbilt University study in the journal Nutrition and Cancer evaluated the relationship between consumption of well-done meat and meat carcinogen exposure with the risk of cancer. The results from this study show that high intake of well-done meat and high exposure to carcinogens in meat, especially HCAs, may increase the risk of cancer, including prostate cancer.

A National Cancer Institute study also examined the associations between meat consumption, iron, nitrite/nitrate, and prostate cancer in a group of 175,343 men aged 50 to 71 years. During a nine-year follow-up period, the researchers identified 10,313 cases of prostate cancer and 419 deaths from prostate cancer. When they evaluated the consumption of red and processed meat, the researchers found that iron, barbecued and grilled meat were all associated with total and advanced prostate cancer, while nitrites and nitrates were associated with advanced prostate cancer.

A high-fat diet raises levels of estrogen in the body, and fat cells harbor estrogen. Therefore men who have a high intake of fat, which is abundant in meat and other animal products, risk raising their estrogen levels and thus the possibility of prostate cancer. In the December 2010 issue of Nutrition and Cancer, the authors evaluated data regarding intake of red meat, fat, garlic, and tomato/tomato products for 194 men who had prostate cancer and 317 healthy controls. They found a significant trend of increasing risk of prostate cancer associated with intake of dietary fat, as well as an increased risk with dietary red meat, along with a protective effect from tomatoes and garlic.

About two-thirds of the cattle raised in the United States are given hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, because it increases both their growth and meat yield. These hormones are then passed along to individuals who consume these products. Hormone residues in food may promote the development of prostate cancer in men.

Another hormone found in meat and dairy products may also increase the risk of prostate cancer: insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). A University of Oxford team conducted a review of 12 studies that included nearly 9,000 men and discovered that men who had high blood levels of IGF-1 were up to 40 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who had low levels of the hormone.

You can help reduce your risk of prostate cancer by following a diet that limits or eliminates meat and focusing on high-fiber, low-fat, nutrient-rich sources of protein. A diversified plant-based diet can provide all the protein and other essential macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber to support and maintain health and help prevent prostate cancer. Plant foods that provide good to excellent amounts of protein include dried beans (e.g., black, kidney, pinto, red), lentils, split peas, fermented soy, amaranth, quinoa, kamut, buckwheat, and others. These foods also provide high amounts of fiber, which can help eliminate cancer-causing toxins from the body.

Red meat increases risk of prostate cancer, especially when grilled at high temperatures Men who eat a lot of red meat are 2.3 times more likely than men who do not eat read meat to develop aggressive prostate cancer. When BBQ meat is charred at high temperatures over an open flame, a reaction occurs that causes two chemicals to form: heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS). These carcinogens have been shown to cause prostate cancer as well as other types of cancer.


Sugar may taste good, but that’s where the “good” part ends. Along with the empty calories sugar contributes to the diet, it is also believed by many experts to fuel cancer cell growth, among them Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, former vice president of Nutrition for Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Whether sugar directly causes cancer is uncertain. What is certain, though, is that too much sugar can lead to other disorders such as obesity and insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome that can be a high-risk factor for cancer. If you want something sweet, choose fresh fruit, nature’s natural sugar.


De Klerk DP et al. Glycosaminoglycans of human prostatic cancer. Journal of Urology 1984 May; 131(5): 1008-12

Gann PH et al. Prospective study of plasma fatty acids and risk of prostate cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1994 Feb 16; 86(4):281-86.

Gregor M. MD. NutritionFacts Chicken

Kaadige MR et al. Glutamine-dependent anapleurosis dictates glucose uptake and cell growth by regulating MondoA transcriptional activity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2009 Sep 1; 106(35): 14878-83

Ricciardelli C et al. Elevated levels of peritumoral chondroitin sulfate are predictive of poor prognosis in patients treated by radical prostatectomy for early-stage prostate cancer. Cancer Research 1999 May 15; 59(10): 2324-28

Richman EL et al. Intakes of meat, fish, poultry, and eggs and risk of prostate cancer progression. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010 Mar; 91(3): 712-21

Richman EL et al. Choline intake and risk of lethal prostate cancer: incidence and survival. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2012 Oct; 96(4): 855-63

Roddam AW et al. Insulin-like growth factors, their binding proteins, and prostate cancer risk: analysis of individual patient data from 12 prospective studies. Annals of Internal Medicine 2008 Oct 7; 149(7):461-71, W83-8

Salem S et al. Major dietary factors and prostate cancer risk: a prospective multicenter case-control study. Nutrition and Cancer 2010 Dec 15:1

Sakko AJ et al. Immunohistochemical level of unsulfated chondroitin disaccharides in the cancer stroma is an independent predictor of prostate cancer relapse. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 2008 Sep; 17(9): 2488-97

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Weil, A. 3 Ways to Avoid Added Hormones in Meat

World Health Organization. Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. October 2015

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  • Clyde Duncan  On 07/31/2017 at 4:11 pm

    The following is intended as investment advice … but I thought the break-through may be of interest to some ….

    Electrifying Gains From a Senator’s Brain?

    By Ray Blanco | Tomorrow’s Trends Today

    Rich or poor, famous or unknown, cancer doesn’t care who you are.

    You can even be a U.S.A. senator and former nominee for president.

    By now, you might be guessing I’m talking about John McCain.

    Just a few days ago, the veteran Arizona senator underwent surgery on a blood clot in his brain. When the lab results came back, they indicated the presence of brain cancer.

    Some cancer types have become imminently curable — especially if diagnosed early. Former President Jimmy Carter was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma a few years ago and, thanks to new cancer-fighting technology, is still alive today.

    The type of cancer McCain has, however, is particularly deadly. Historically, most glioblastoma patients don’t survive two years after discovering they have the disease, and only a small percentage get to see the fifth anniversary of that date.

    McCain survived flying attack aircraft over hostile territory as well as torture in POW camps — and many an electoral campaign — but can he survive this latest challenge?

    With recent developments in fighting cancer, he just might have a shot.

    Just as with Carter, new technology is coming online… just in time to possibly keep McCain alive beyond historical norms for this type of cancer.

    And one potential company could provide a long-awaited breakthrough that he and many others desperately need.

    One thing to know is that this company isn’t making a new drug. It’s making a new medical device. This device generates an electrical field that stops cancer cells from dividing by disrupting their internal cell structures.

    It’s an ideal method for going after brain cancer. Glioblastoma cells divide aggressively, but ordinary brain cells do not. And the company’s new therapy exploits that difference.

    So far, the company has shown that its medical device provides a huge survival boost in patients with brain cancer.

    The therapy is also already being marketed for some types of brain cancer, but the company is working on marketing the device to more cancer patients, as well as running more clinical trials for other cancer types.

    Just this week, the company announced a new clinical trial combining its proprietary method with chemotherapy. If past evidence is any guide, I expect the trial will show a big improvement in patient survival.

    McCain’s cancer might give the company a chance to show the world what its new technology can do… and that could really raise the company’s profile!

    This breakthrough in electric technology could help protect McCain’s life and help thousands of others, too.

    To a bright future,

    Ray Blanco

  • Clyde Duncan  On 08/03/2017 at 7:45 pm

    Millions of Eggs Removed from European Shelves Over Toxicity Fears

    Recalls in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium and criminal inquiry launched as tests show high levels of insecticide fipronil

    Daniel Boffey in Brussels | The Guardian UK

    Millions of eggs are being recalled from shops and warehouses in Germany and the Netherlands and being blocked from sale in Belgium after some were found to contain high levels of a toxic insecticide banned from use in the production of food for human consumption.

    About 180 Dutch farms have been temporarily shut down and a criminal investigation has been launched as authorities seek to establish the scale of the problem.

    A European commission spokeswoman, Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, told reporters in Brussels: “The eggs are blocked. The contaminated eggs have been traced and withdrawn from the market and the situation is under control.”

    Tests of chicken droppings, blood and eggs showed high levels of the insecticide fipronil, a common ingredient in veterinary products for getting rid of fleas, lice and ticks, but banned from being used to treat animals destined for human consumption.

    According to the World Health Organisation, the highly toxic substance can damage the liver, thyroid glands and kidneys if ingested in large amounts over time.

    Belgian prosecutors are said to be examining the client list of two companies in Flanders specialising in the production and supply of anti-lice agents to Dutch and Belgian farms, among others. It is feared the illegal substance was mixed with an insecticide used legally in the keeping of chickens to improve its effectiveness.

    The Dutch newspaper Trouw suggested one of the companies may have had clients in the UK, France and Poland, although there is no suggestion so far that contaminated eggs are being sold in those countries.

    The Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant reported that the illegal mix had been used on farms in the Netherlands for more than a year.

    The Dutch food and product safety board, the NVWA, told the newspaper it was unclear whether contaminated eggs had been sold to customers over that period. “We have no way of checking because the eggs have been eaten,” a spokesman said.

    On Monday, the NVWA warned consumers that one batch of eggs “had such elevated levels of fipronil that their consumption would present a serious public health risk”.

    They advised that eggs from at least 27 other farms should not be eaten by children.

    The extent of the scandal has since grown. “We are still estimating the number of farms which have been affected, and the analysis of 600 samples is still ongoing,” a spokesman for the NVWA said.

    On Thursday, the Netherlands’ two largest supermarket groups, as well as the German supermarket group REWE, said they were removing some eggs from their shelves. “We want to give our clients total transparency,” the German company said in a statement.

    Customers of the German chain who had already bought Dutch eggs have been told they can return them and be reimbursed. Lidl and Aldi have removed some Dutch eggs from their shelves.

    Around a million eggs destined for Germany were recalled from the border with the Netherlands this week.

    The German agriculture minister, Christian Schmidt, called a “crisis tele-conference” with his counterparts in German states where the insecticide had been detected.

    It has been reported that 2.9m eggs from companies believed to have used the fipronil anti-lice agent were delivered to Germany before 22 July, when exports were blocked, although many of them remained in packing stations.

    Belgian media, citing the Flemish organisation that represents chicken and rabbit farmers, said several dozen Belgian producers have had their products blocked because of ongoing inspections.

    The president of the Dutch poultry producers’ union, Hennie de Haan, warned against an overreaction.

    “If other retailers follow the example of REWE, then the disaster cannot be overlooked”, she said. “If this is temporary, it is still possible to catch up, but if it takes longer then the entire Dutch sector, including traders, is bankrupt. You do not just find a market for 4.5bn eggs a year.”

    The Netherlands has almost 1,000 lay hen factory farms producing 11bn eggs a year, of which more than half are exported, mainly to Germany.

    The Dutch food and product safety board has been criticised for its handling of the scandal.

    At first officials said there was no danger to human health, before issuing a warning about certain batches of eggs.

    Its deputy director was subsequently reported as saying that consumers should avoid eggs altogether until tests for a banned pesticide had been completed.

    The board expects to complete tests on eggs from 180 farms which used the contaminated pesticide by the end of the week.

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