Sugar, it’s a modern day addiction. Implemented within our diets on a regular basis, we can’t live with it and we can’t live without it. It gets worse, in an effort to endorse ‘low fat’ products, naturally occurring fats are being substituted with high amounts of sugar. However, recent research suggests that fat may not be the problem. In fact, sugar may be a much bigger threat to our overall health, including cardiovascular health, inflammatory disorders and prostate enlargement.
For men over the age of 50, at risk of developing prostate disease, this is worrying news. In this post I will be discussing how sugar can deteriorate your prostate and what steps you can start taking to keep sugar at bay.
How Sugar Affects Your Prostate
Studies have suggested that men with high blood sugar and those who are obese are at a greater risk of an enlarged prostate. Researchers studied 422 men and found that those with high blood sugar were 3 times more at risk of developing an enlarged prostate. Although this was a small study, which may need to be expanded on with an increased number of participants, it does provide a worrying insight. Furthermore, processed sugars tend to have inflammatory effects on body tissues in general, thereby contributing to prostate inflammation and enlargement over time. I frequently see many people struggling to maintain good blood sugar levels and insulin levels nowadays because of these dietary imbalances.
Good Fat Vs Bad Fat
While the word ‘fat’ has many of us shrinking away from the scales, it should be noted that not all fat is bad. As a result of a lack of nutritional education, many of us have become fat phobic, not realising that fat actually has an important place in our diets. Nutritional and healthy fats include omega-3 fatty acids, omega 6 fatty acids.
Good sources of fat include:
- Nuts and seed- a handful of macadamia nuts contains high amounts of vitamin B1, magnesium and manganese. In fact just one serving (30g), provides 58% of manganese.
- Grass fed animals- According to a study, grass fed meat contains significantly more omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid than grain fed. So rather than consuming grain fed meat, try to opt for grass fed.
- Cold water wild caught fish- Sadly this doesn’t mean a greasy fish and chips form your local chippy, but fresh cold water fish. The habitat that your fish is sourced can drastically affect its nutritional value. Some studies have shown that Farm-raised fish may contain higher levels of contaminants than wild, or wild-caught fish.
- Coconut oil- Coconut oil is another good source of fat, filled with medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA blocks not only the conversion of testosterone into DHT but also stops its toxic effect. A study in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology showed results that coconut oil significantly reduced the size of the prostate gland.
- Avocados- Good news for all you avocado lovers out there! Avocados contain healthy fats and nutrients which benefit your health and can help to reduce the painful symptoms associated with BPH. They have beta-sitosterol, which helps urinary flow, decreases inflammation of the prostate.
Fat plays an important role when it comes to our health, helping to keep our brain healthy, insulating organs and providing energy. For a great guide of many nutritious healthy types of foods and fats, click on your free ketogenic diet guide here.
The worst type of fat that should be avoided is trans fat. It is a byproduct of hydrogenation, which is used to turn oil solid as to prevent it becoming rancid. However, as a result of this process when the oil is heated its goodness is depleted and it becomes unhealthy.
Fat Vs Sugar
When a ‘low fat’ diet become the hype, many foods began to substitute fat for sugar. However, the problem is that unlike fat our bodies have a very minimal capacity to store sugar. As a result of a modern lifestyle corrupted with excess sugar, our glycogen stores is quickly overwhelmed and the, excess sugars consumed is typically converted into excessive fat stores. This is one of the main contributors to our obesity epidemic, with an estimated 40% of American adults being obese.
How To Reduce Sugar
Reducing your sugar intake is not easy, especially when you have a hectic schedule. However, taking the time to cut back on sugar could have a massive impact on your prostate health as well as your health in general.
- Dark Chocolate- For many of us giving up chocolate is a scary thought. If you struggle sacrificing your daily candy bar, try swapping it for dark chocolate. Dark chocolate (85%) contains antioxidants and boasts many health benefits. It is high in fat and low in sugar but even so should be eaten in moderation.
- Avoid Fruit Juice- Although it contains the word ‘fruit’ in, many fruit juices are in fact low in fruit and high in sugar. Shockingly some fruit juices contain as much sugar as a can of coca cola. Instead of drinking juice, opt for a fresh piece of fruit.
- Read Labels- When shopping, always read the labels. You will be very surprised to discover how much sugar a takeaway sandwich, a tin of beans or a can of soup can have. Although many processed foods are considered savory, they could have as much sugar as a bar of chocolate! Taking the time to read and compare labels could really help your waistline.
- Avoid Eating Out- Unless you go to a restaurant where you know that the food is of high quality and fresh ingredients, it could be best to avoid eating out. Takeaways can be jam packed with sugar, with popular chinese takeaways such as orange chicken and sweet and sour chicken containing three times the WHO recommended daily limit, and even more sugar than a regular-sized Chocolate Triple Thick Shake from McDonald’s (63.09 g).
Although avoiding sugar may be difficult, it is not impossible and there are a number of ways of reducing your sugar intake. Remember that not all types of fats are bad and many types are needed for your body to function properly. By exercising and having a healthy lifestyle you can improve your prostate health significantly. The power is in your hands.
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