The Connection Between Animal Fats and Prostate Cancer

American men whose diets are rich in animal fats, and particularly fats from red meat, face nearly an 80 percent greater risk of developing potentially fatal prostate cancer than do men with the lowest intake of such foods, a major new study has found. Higher levels of fat in the body fuel the production of testosterone which fuels the production of prostate cells

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A medical study looking at The Role of Red Meat in Prostate Cancer found that men with diets loaded in fat, especially red meat, are more at risk of prostate cancer than those who cut back on fat. Men with the highest amount of fat in their diets — pork, beef or lamb — had a 79 percent greater risk of advanced prostate cancer than men with the lowest amounts, the study says.

The reason animal fats contribute to prostate cancer are not the saturated fat content of the meat. They are the:

1. Chemicals found in the fats of meat

The risk factor for cancer may not be the animal fat itself, but all the chemical toxins stored in the fat, which then bio-accumulate in the fat of meat eating consumers.

The fat of most commercial animal products contain residues from drugs, hormones, and chemicals used to keep modern dairy cows producing abundantly.These residues in food may increase the risk of breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers including prostate cancer.

Beef and pork fat have some of the largest concentrations of dioxins of all food sources

The FDA advises us that most dioxin exposure occurs through the diet, with over 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats. Therefore, the main concern is in consuming commercially produced fatty meats such as Beef, Pork, Veal, and all products made with these meats such as Hamburgers, Sausage, Frankfurters, Salami, and all other processed meats.

The following is an excerpt from the very informative article titled: Questions and Answers about Dioxins: Published by the U.S. FDA.

“Overall, the best strategy for lowering the risk of dioxins while maintaining the benefits of a good diet is to follow the recommendations in the Federal Dietary Guidelines to choose fish, lean meat, poultry, and low or fat free (skim) dairy products and to increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and grain products. Lean meat includes meats that are naturally lower in fat, and meat where visible fat has been trimmed. For fish and poultry you can reduce fat by removing the skin. Reducing the amount of butter or lard used in the preparation of foods and cooking methods that reduce fat (such as oven broiling) will also lower the risk of exposure to dioxin. These strategies help lower the intake of saturated fats as well as reduce the risk of exposure” .

2. Fatty acid imbalance

What increases the risk of prostate cancer when eating red meat is the imbalance of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids.

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Commercially raised beef and pork are generally “grain fed” instead of grass fed (the natural food for grazing animals). Grass fed red meat contains a superior fat and far more Omega 3 fat than grain fed red meat. Grain fed animals have extremely low amounts of Omega 3. An insufficient amount for human health.

Lack of the essential fatty acids leads to the production oxydase. Oxydase induces cancer growth and many other chronic disorders.

Practical advice

1. Choose lean cuts of meat

The following are the leanest choices of meat and poultry, to help you make the best selections when planning your meals:

  • Beef: Round steaks and roasts (eye round, top round, bottom round, or round tip), top loin, top sirloin, chuck shoulder, arm roasts, ground round, and ground sirloin (at least 90% lean)
  • Poultry: Chicken, turkey, and Cornish hen with no skin (white meat is leaner than dark)
  • Pork: Tenderloin, center loin, pork loin, sausage with 1g fat per ounce or less, and Canadian bacon
  • Lamb and Veal: Chop or roast

Besides purchasing lean cuts, the way you prepare meats and poultry can help cut additional fat and calories. Trim off any visible fat or skin before cooking meats and poultry, and don’t dip them in batter or slather them in butter or creamy sauces. You should bake, broil, grill, roast, steam, or boil; don’t fry. Drain excess fat while cooking by placing the meat on a rack in a pan or by using a grill with a slanted surface to encourage fat drainage.

Better yet – eat organic grass-fed meats

Organic, free-range animal products contain less antibiotic or hormone residue and have a higher omega-3 and vitamin E content. These qualities make organic animal products a better nutritional choice. In addition, they generally provide better flavor than conventionally raised animals.

The fat of grass-fed animals is full of Omega 3 fatty acids from eating green grass leaves which are full of Omega 3 fatty acids.  Omega 3 fatty acids help decrease LDL.  Grass fed beef has 2-4 times the Omega 3 levels of grain fed beef.  These good fats are used by the body as essential fats not produced by our bodies for many biochemical needs in a healthy body.  These good fats decrease high blood pressure and irregular heart beats.  People who eat a high Omega 3 diet have 50% less heart attacks.  They also had a decreased  prostate cancer risk along with many other decreased health problems.

Another richly available benefit in grass-fed beef is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), another good fat.  CLA has 3-5 times higher levels in grass fed beef than grain fed beef.  CLAs are also stored in the fat of grass fed beef.  CLAs are beneficial in muscle building and burning of fat, therefore are very helpful to person needing to lose weight, particularly diabetics.  They also help the body defend itself against cancer cells by helping decrease tumor cell growth.  CLAs help cancer patients stop losing muscle mass. An Irish study shows naturally occurring CLA inhibited the growth of prostate and colon cancer cells in humans.

Avoid grilled and barbecued meats

Grilling and barbecuing meat causes production of heterocyclic amines – compounds that have been associated with cancer. Charbroiled and barbecued meat contains benzo(a)pyrene which can cause DNA mutations that can increase the risk of prostate cancer as well as other cancers. Another possible reason? Many red meats are also high in fat and some studies have shown a high fat diet increases the risk of prostate cancer.

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