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Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of prostate cancer progression: Study

The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating plenty of plant-based foods and moderate amounts of dairy, poultry, eggs, seafood.

A new study suggests that a Mediterranean diet can help protect you against prostate cancer.

Written by Arushi Bidhuri |Updated : January 8, 2021 6:43 PM IST

Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer found in older men. This type of cancer is generally confined to the prostate gland, but you can control it. Symptoms may include difficulty and pain during urination, blood in the urine along with sexual dysfunction. It is rare to develop prostate cancer before the age of 40, but the risk increases with age, and most cases are detected in the late 60s. However, it is possible to decrease the susceptibility of this cancer by making some lifestyle changes. Talking of which, changing your diet and eating healthy foods can work in your favour.

Mediterranean Diet May Help With Prostate Cancer

Findings of a new study published in the journal Cancer suggests that eating a Mediterranean diet for men with localised prostate cancer can be beneficial. So, if you are someone who follows a Mediterranean diet, chances are that you may be protected against prostate cancer.

Lead researcher Justin Gregg, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas said, "A Mediterranean diet is non-invasive, good for overall health and, as shown by this study, has the potential to affect the progression of their cancer."

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For the study, the researchers included 410 men on an active surveillance protocol with Gleason grade group 1 or 2 localized prostate cancer. The men completed a 170-item baseline food frequency questionnaire, and Mediterranean diet score was calculated for each participant across 9 energy-adjusted food groups. The participants were then divided into three groups of high, medium and low adherence to the diet.

After adjusting for factors known to increase risk of cancer getting worse over time, such as age, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and tumour volume, men with a diet that contained more fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish had a reduced risk of their prostate cancer growing or advancing to a point where many would consider active treatment.

What Is A Mediterranean Diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds and olive oil.

Foods You Can Eat

To know the basics of the diet, here are the foods you can eat when on a Mediterranean diet.

  • Vegetables like tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Include more fruits likes apples, strawberries, grapes, dates, melons, peaches, etc.
  • Eat more nuts and seeds
  • Legumes like beans, peas, lentils, pulses, peanuts, chickpeas, etc. are also good options to add
  • Whole grains are a must when you are on a Mediterranean diet
  • Eat more fish and seafood
  • Include more dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, Greek yoghurt, etc.
  • Healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and avocados are also great
  • You can drink coffee and tea, but without added sugar

Foods You Should Avoid

The golden rule when on this diet is avoiding unhealthy foods, which include:

  • Added sugar
  • Refined grains
  • Trans far
  • Refined oils
  • Processed meat
  • Other processed foods

(with inputs from IANS)

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