Plus, the surprising secret weapon in the war against aggressive cancer
If you’re a man, odds are you’re going to have to deal with prostate cancer at some point in your life.
Statistics show that by age 50, 50 percent of men will have prostate cancer. And every ten years after that, the diagnosis increases by 10 percent. And you may not even know you have it.
The good news is, most men aren’t likely to die from prostate cancer.
That said, cancer is still cancer. And you should of course always take it seriously. Especially considering that when aggressive cases do arise, they can carry very real, life-threatening consequences.
So what’s a man to do? And what’s the right approach to take after a diagnosis? I’ll tackle these very important questions in just a moment. But first, a little background on how far diagnosis and treatment of this disease has progressed just over the last decade or so.
Prostate cancer care comes full circle—for better AND for worse
Prostate cancer has posed a unique challenge to conventional medicine.
Standards of treatment have come full circle over the course of my career as a physician. We didn’t do much about prostate cancer when I was in residency, because it was still considered a fairly benign condition.
That all changed nearly 20 years ago. And we entered an era where, suddenly, it was considered a deadly threat. Interventions escalated, and many men were overtreated and severely (and permanently) damaged as a result.
Thankfully, now we’re back to a less aggressive, more discretionary approach to treating prostate cancer. With that has come a renewed focus on lifestyle-based strategies to keep the disease in check.
Chief among these is proper nutrition. Which would be a huge breath of fresh air… if the advice being doled out was worth the paper it was written on.
So while the battle over aggressive overtreatment may be won—at least for now—the war over the right way to manage and prevent prostate cancer has obviously just begun.
Low-fat dogma triggers yet another round of panic
Maybe you saw the headlines earlier this year. They were hard to miss— decrying a “high-fat diet” as fuel for the spread of prostate cancer.1 This is the kind of alarmist hogwash we’ve all come to expect from mainstream medicine.
But as usual with mainstream headlines, these were only attention-grabbing half-truths. And what the study behind the headlines actually found wasn’t nearly as conclusive.
A few relevant details about this study: The main takeaway is actually that obesity contributes to the spread of aggressive prostate cancer (which is the kind of prostate cancer that can—and does—kill).
In fact, these scientists identified a specific protective gene in mice with prostate cancer. In cases where that gene wasn’t present, the end result was supercharged fat formation and lethal metastasis (where cancer spreads to other parts of the body).2
None of this is particularly surprising, of course. There’s no question that obesity plays a huge role in cancer.
But here’s where things get tricky: Even some mice that did have this protective gene suffered aggressive, metastatic prostate cancer. But only if they ate a high-fat diet.
Which led the researchers to their misleading conclusion, suggesting that high-fat diets are just as dangerous as obesity- and cancer-promoting gene mutations.
This faulty correlation is just another knee-jerk reaction to the tired, old “fat makes you fat” myth.
So let me explain where this study went wrong—and what you should really do to protect your prostate…
Why you should take these results with a grain of salt
For one, the researchers’ observations were based on an animal study. Experiments in mice may be a good springboard for future clinical research. But at the end of the day, mice are mice… not humans. And you just can’t draw any firm conclusions based on animal research.
But that’s not the only problem with this experiment’s design—nor the biggest…
In their quest to identify how dietary patterns affect prostate cancer metastasis, these scientists switched their mice from low-fat vegetarian chow to chow that reflects the contents of a high-fat Western diet.
Now, the fact that we’re talking about “chow”—and not real, whole food—should be your first red flag. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this study doesn’t accurately represent the impact of a nutrient-dense diet rich in high-quality fats.
But the term “Western” is the real dealbreaker here. Because I think it’s safe to say that what sets the Standard American Diet apart from the rest isn’t its fat content, but its abundance of processed foods, simple carbs, and—you guessed it—sugar.
And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Sugar is the true culprit behind our skyrocketing obesity epidemic… and all the preventable cancer deaths that come with it.
With that in mind, let’s take a minute to revisit some basics about cancer development.
Fact: Sugar is cancer’s favorite food
Sugar increases your body’s levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factors. And both can promote the growth and spread of cancer cells. That’s why high-carb diets—regardless of their fat content—are so dangerous for cancer patients.
Unlike healthy cells, malignant cells rely on a steady stream of sugar to thrive and grow quickly.
But cancer cells can’t metabolize fatty acids or ketones. Your body generates these compounds when both blood sugar and it’s emergency “stowaway sugar” stores are depleted, and it starts burning fat for energy. And this is exactly what happens when you’re on a low-carb, fat-rich ketogenic diet.
These are the facts, plain and simple. If you want to beat cancer, your body must start using fat—not sugar and carbohydrates—as its primary fuel. That’s why the ketogenic approach has emerged as a superstar in the field of clinical nutrition.
In case you need a refresher, a classic ketogenic diet is made up of at least 80 percent fat—with the remainder split between protein and non-starchy vegetables.
Limiting carbs means your body relies on fat for fuel. With less available sugar, your body starts generating ketones for energy. (A metabolic state called “ketosis.”)
When you follow this type of diet, you effectively starve cancer cells while still allowing your healthy cells to thrive. Something that’s impossible to achieve with a diet that’s loaded with grains and sugar.
But if you really want to pack a punch against prostate cancer, it’s not just a matter of eliminating carbs and fueling your body with fat. The quality of the food and fat you’re eating matters.
Your real secret weapon in the war on prostate cancer
Speaking of quality food and fat, I’ve been talking about the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet for nearly as long as I’ve been in practice.
My two biggest diet book successes—The Hamptons Diet and The A-List Diet—are both variations on that theme. And endless research supports the fact that a diet packed with fish, nuts, vegetables, and monounsaturated-fats is the key to a longer life.
This holds true for prostate cancer, too. As I mentioned earlier, although you’re more likely to die with prostate cancer than to die from it, aggressive cases are a whole different story. And you need to do everything in your power to prevent it.
To that end, consider the results of the following study—in actual human men with prostate cancer.
Researchers assessed for subjects’ adherence to three types of diets. The Mediterranean diet was one of them.
Then there was a Western diet pattern—packed with refined grains, processed meats, sodas, sweets, and fast food.
And finally, there was the deceptively named Prudent diet pattern, consisting of low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and juices.
Once all the numbers had been crunched, they found that men who adhered most closely to a Mediterranean diet had a 34 percent lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer. And the likelihood of advanced cancer was also more than 50 percent lower in this group, compared to men who didn’t eat a Mediterranean-style diet.2
But that’s not the only discovery that vindicated my long-standing dietary advice. Results revealed that men who ate the lowest fat diets had a 60 percent higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
I don’t know about you, but I’d trust my life with these results before I’d follow a diet based on lab mouse chow.
This hard, scientific evidence proves that the old adage “let food be your medicine” still holds true. Which is why it frustrates me so much that people would rather put poison in their mouths just because it tastes good—and ultimately, die from it.
Especially because eating the right way can be delicious. And every recipe in my A-List Diet is proof of that. (If you don’t have a copy yet, it was just released in paperback on www.AListDietBook.com).
The A-List path to arresting prostate cancer
The key to preventing prostate cancer death is by slowing or stopping the disease’s progression in its tracks. And it’s really not as complicated as you might think.
The A-List Diet is alkaline, high-protein, fat-rich, and sugar-free. In other words, exactly the kind of nutrient-dense, ketogenic approach you need to disarm prostate cancer — or any disease. And once you know the rules, you’ll find that it’s simple, delicious, and sustainable.
Of course, I should note that I made a few tweaks to my A-List Diet to specifically support those who are combatting or preventing cancer. Usually, for weight loss, I advise removing various foods then gradually adding them back into your diet. However, if you’re currently being treated for cancer, you’ll need all the nutrition you can get!
See the sidebar on the previous page for my detailed recommendations.
The bottom line? Prostate cancer will affect most, if not all men in one way or another. And especially where your diet is concerned, you simply can’t afford to let your guard down.
In addition, I’m getting ready to release a comprehensive, step-by-step protocol that combines all of my time-tested, research-backed strategies for preventing and even reversing cancer. You’ll be the first to know as soon as it’s ready. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, the simple strategies I’ve outlined here are the best way to make sure you’re in control of your health—and your future.
Protect Your Prostate by Filling Your Plate
Below are a few of the basics you can—and should—start doing today:
- Ditch the processed foods. Taking packaged, processed foods off your dinner table and replacing them with fresh, local, whole foods might be the single most important thing you do in your fight against cancer. All those additives would wreak havoc on even the healthiest body. And when you’re dealing with prostate cancer, a highly processed diet can be lethal.
If it came out of a box, bag, or can, don’t eat it. Cook your own meals using fresh, locally grown, organic ingredients. True—it’ll take a little more time, planning, and effort. And it may cost a bit more. But it could also save your life.
- The sugar has got to go. And that’s true whether it’s corn syrup, table sugar, raw honey, dried fruits, or fruit juice. You should also steer clear of starchy veggies like potatoes, corn, peas, and squash. Your only sugar sources should be non-starchy vegetables, with occasional exceptions for low-sugar fruits, like berries and melon. (And even those should be limited to less than twice per week.)
For a full list of which types of foods are best to eat, check out Chapters 4 and 9 of The A-List Diet.
- Grains and starches are out, too. Refined or whole. I don’t care if they’re generally considered “healthy.” All wheat, rice, corn, quinoa, oats, etc. are off the menu. And so are potatoes. You don’t need them to meet your nutritional needs. And they’ll only turn into cancer-fueling sugar after you eat them.
- A variety of fresh vegetables is vital. They’re full of cancer-fighting nutrients and fiber, and low in sugar. They’re also the key to keeping your body’s pH level alkaline, which is essential for lowering inflammation and fighting disease.
Pack your plate with foods like asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, collard greens, eggplant, kale, and mushrooms. The list of alkalizing vegetables goes on! (You’ll find the full list in Chapter 6 of The A-List Diet.)
You can really eat as many servings of vegetables as you’d like. They’re filling, nutritious, and A-List approved. Aim to work them into every meal.
- Fill up on high-quality fats. Low-fat eating is completely counterproductive for any cancer patient—including men with prostate cancer. Instead of cutting fat, the focus should be on swapping out bad fats and replacing them with good fats.
Obviously, you should steer clear of trans fats. But you should also ditch omega-6 rich vegetable oils made from cottonseed, sunflower, and soybean. These are all significant inflammation promoters—and thus, cancer promoters. And avoid canola oil like the over-processed poison it is.
But there’s absolutely no need to swear off saturated fats, especially from stellar sources like grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Omega-3s from oily fish remain as critical as ever.
And of course, filling up on monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)—from sources like avocado and macadamia nut oil—should be a top priority.
- Don’t skimp on protein. For daily protein intake, I advise eating 1 gram for each pound you weigh. This is a good place to start, but keep in mind it’s by no means a hard and fast rule.
While your intake may vary, rest assured that ample protein—and the branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) it delivers—is an essential piece of the puzzle for every cancer patient.
These all-important BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They have a hand in just about every important biological process there is. And you need an abundant supply in order to keep your body running efficiently.
Your richest sources are animal products like dairy, meat, and eggs. (One of the main reasons why vegan diets—especially for cancer patients—are so dangerous.) And while they’re a muscle-growing trade secret among body builders, they’re also a uniquely powerful weapon against inflammation, regardless of your fitness level.
In this regard, BCAAs are the perfect solution for preventing obesity-related cancers—like aggressive prostate cancer. It’s also one of the many reasons I’ve made them the centerpiece of my A-List Diet. (The “A” in “A-List” stands for “amino acids.”)
- Kolata, Gina. “High-Fat May Fuel Spread of Prostate Cancer.” The New York Times. 16 Jan 2018, nytimes.com/2018/01/16/health/fat-diet-prostate-cancer.html.
- Chen M, et al. Nat Genet. 2018 Feb;50(2):206-218.
- Castello A, et al. J Urol. 2018 Feb;199(2):430-437.