Here’s my first guest blog post for Movember Halifax, that’s posted on their site today:
It’s Movember: Support Your Prostate through a Healthy Diet
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Wendy McCallum, and I’m a Nutritional Consultant in the HRM area and the founder of Simple Balance Consulting. I blog about food & wellness regularly on my own site and others, and this year will be putting out a series of posts through the Halifax Movember site related to prevention through diet.
I am so pleased to have the opportunity to blog about prostate cancer prevention this year. It is an issue that has affected our family directly more than once, and one that I am passionate about.
It’s that time of year again. My husband grows a “mustache” every November and raises money for prostate cancer. I use the term “mustache” lightly. It’s more of a spattering of stray hairs — nothing manly about it, really. But it’s all for a great cause, supporting prostate health and research.
In honour of Movember, this post is for all the dads, brothers, sons, uncles and grandpas (“mo bros”) out there, and their supportive moms, wives & daughters (or as we call them in Movember, “mo sistas”).
Prostate cancer will affect one in seven men in Canada, and is affecting men in their 40’s more and more. It is influenced by a number of factors, at least two of which are within a man’s control: diet and weight.
Most of us know that being overweight can increase a person’s risk of developing many types of cancers. But did you know that, according to a 2007 research study, if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are obese, you are also 2.5 times more likely to die from that diagnosis than if you were at a healthy weight?
In addition, a high-saturated fat/low-fibre diet, the type of diet that often leads to an unhealthy weight, is connected to an increased risk of prostate cancer. The theory is that fat increases a man’s production of testosterone, which may help prostate cancer cells grow. Healthy fats, however, may actually do the opposite.
So what can you men out there do to reduce your risk? Lose the spare tire and clean up your diets!
Here are a few basic, healthy changes to get you started:
- Eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (Do I sound like a broken record on this one yet?). Keep a log, see how you are doing, and if you are below 5, start including a serving with every snack & meal — it’s really that easy to get to 5;
- Increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake, by eating more small cold-water fatty fish, walnuts, tofu, leafy green veggies and colorful produce, and by incorporating healthy plant oils like flax into dressings & dips;
- Even when we are eating a healthy, balanced diet, it’s tough for us to get enough omega-3, so consider talking to your health care provider about taking a daily omega- 3 supplement, such as a good-quality fish oil (don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like fish). The bonus is, this has loads of other great benefits, including supporting cardiovascular health and decreased inflammation;
- Decrease your saturated fat. Simplest way to do this? Reduce your animal intake and increase your plant intake. That means cutting back on meat and high-fat dairy. Consider going vegetarian a couple of meals a week, and try some non-dairy substitutes once in a while.
- Avoid processed and fast foods as much as possible. You’ll reduce calories, saturated fat and harmful additives in the process. In addition, fresh whole foods naturally contain loads of fibre, while processed and fast foods often don’t.
These changes will also go a long way towards shedding any excess weight you are carrying around with you.
Please stay tuned throughout Movember for healthy recipes and tips in support of the strategies above!
If you are interested in growing a “mo” this year and supporting the cause, please visit the Movember site at: http://www.facebook.com/movemberhalifax
Happy Movember everyone!
For daily wellness tips and healthy recipes, just “Like” the Simple Balance Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/SimpleBalance & consider signing up for my free monthly newsletter at: www.simple-balance.ca. If you want to make some changes or lose some weight but don’t know how to get started, I can help!