A new study indicates men with prostate cancer may be able to extend their lives by eating a diet rich in foods like avocados, nuts, and seeds. The healthful fats in these foods may be able to reduce the risk of death following a prostate cancer diagnosis.
The research, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, analyzed the diets of 4,577 men who had received a prostate cancer diagnosis. What they found was those who reported eating more vegetable fats were less likely to develop fatal tumors or die from other causes than those who ate diets filled with carbohydrates and animal fats.
Of the pool of men, monitored for 25 years, 1,064 died of heart disease.
- Those who ate an additional serving of oil-based dressing each day reduced their risk of dying from prostate cancer by 29%.
- They also reduced their risk of dying by any other cause by 13%.
- Daily nut intake similarly reduced prostate cancer death risk by 18% and death by other causes by 11%.
“Based on this study, combined with extensive literature on cardiovascular disease, it’s appropriate to recommend that men with prostate cancer consume a heart healthy diet with unsaturated fats that comes from nuts, healthy oils like olive and canola, seeds and avocados,” said lead researcher Erin Richman of the University of California at San Francisco.. “I don’t think we need more research to make the recommendation, though we do need it to better understand the biology of prostate cancer.”
It’s believed these vegetable fats increase the number of antioxidants in the body, protecting it from cell damage and oxidative stress. Likewise, these fats are heart-healthy and can guard against inflammatory diseases.
The researchers concluded:
“Among men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer, replacing carbohydrates and animal fat with vegetable fat may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality. The potential benefit of vegetable fat for prostate cancer–specific outcomes merits further research.”
If you’re looking to replace animal fats and carbohydrates with healthful fats, try swapping that bag of chips for a handful of nuts, or those bacon bits for a rich olive oil dressing on your salad. These fats could also help preserve brain health, fight infection, and prevent cancer.