In my last movember post I focussed on supporting prostate health and reducing cancer risks through diet. I noted in that post that a high-saturated fat/low-fibre diet is connected to an increased risk of prostate cancer. You’ll recall 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.
The big question then becomes, how does a Canadian mo’ bro go about reducing his saturated fat intake?
Saturated fat is found largely in animal products, including meat, eggs and high-fat dairy, so the simplest way to reduce it is to reduce your intake of animal products, or at least switch them out for their lower-fat versions. Easier said than done for most guys, I know! Many men like their meat, and often worry about getting enough protein.
Here are some simple habits to get into that can make a real difference in your total intake of saturated fat:
• Switch to low-fat dairy (yoghurt, milk, and cheese) and try some dairy alternatives such as almond or soy milk. You might just be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is, for example, to replace cow’s milk with almond milk on your breakfast cereal!
• Limit red meat to once a week, and stick to chicken and fish on other days.
• Consider swapping out your animal protein a few times a week for a plant-based protein. A few examples of great veggie protein options are: beans, tofu, and quinoa. Check out other blog posts for loads of tasty and filling veggie recipes to get you started! For all you doubters, my main mo’ eats vegetarian most of the time, and he’s healthy, active and athletic!
• Remember that saturated fat is solid at room temperature, so avoid or reduce your use of obvious sources such as lard and butter. One saturated fat that has been shown to have positive health effects, without the negative implications of animal fat, is coconut oil, so try that for high-heat cooking (It’s very stable at high temperatures, unlike olive oil which should never be used at higher than a medium heat). Coconut oil is now available in the natural food section of most big grocery stores.
• Use more unsaturated liquid plant oils such as canola, sunflower, flax and olive oil when preparing salad dressings.
• Use egg whites in the place of one or all eggs when you are scrambling in the morning.
• Use herbs, lemon, soy sauce and healthy vinegars in cooking for flavour.• And finally, my favourite – EAT MO’ VEGETABLES! Try to incorporate at least one vegetable in every snack and meal. You won?t be as hungry, and will need less animal -source food to fill you up, and you will be increasing your fiber intake (linked to a decreased risk) and increasing your cancer-fighting antioxidant levels!
Stay healthy everyone!