5 foods that give you prostate cancer

No man likes to read about how everything he loves to eat is going to give him cancer.

That being said, there are a few everyday foods that when eaten regularly could increase your risk for prostate cancer.

While some risk factors for prostate cancer are out of your control (such as genetics, race, and family history), what you put in your body is completely under your control.

You may be shocked to learn about the following five foods that give your prostate cancer.

Red and processed meat

Red meat and processed meat are among the 10 worst foods for men, which is difficult for men to accept because these foods are very popular. Men who eat red meat the most often are 12 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer compared to men who eat the least amount of red meat. And the men who eat the most meat are 33 percent more likely to have advanced forms of prostate cancer. (Sinha 2009)

Processed meat includes deli meats (like bologna) and bacon. Many deli meats are from animals that have been injected with growth hormones, given antibiotics and living in diseased living conditions. Many processed meats have dyes, chemicals, and sodium nitrate. Nitrites have been linked with certain cancers. The preservatives in processed meats are associated with an increased prostate cancer risk.

Well-done meat

As if meat was not bad enough for your prostate, eating it well-done makes the health risks even worse. Charred meat has cancer-causing compounds that may increase the risk of prostate cancer. When you cook meat at very high temperatures, compounds linked to cancer are formed. The riskier cooking methods include grilling, broiling, and searing.

Fried foods

Who doesn’t love French fries, chips, and doughnuts? Well, your waistline and your prostate don’t. These unhealthful foods have no nutritional value and contain a possible carcinogen called acrylamide. Acrylamide is formed by an amino acid that is formed during high-temperature cooking. These foods are also high in calories, which can lead to weight gain. Obesity is another high-risk factor for prostate cancer. Instead of these foods, choose nutritious, whole foods that are among the best foods for prostate health.


This may come as a shock: Bread is bad for your prostate health. It seems so harmless, but white-flour products like bread, pancakes, and crackers can cause inflammation in the body. Plus, there is an additive to bread called potassium bromate. Food experts are concerned about potassium bromate because it has been found to cause cancer in animals and is known to be toxic in human cells. One natural treatment recommended for men dealing with prostate problems and pelvic pain is a wheat-free diet.


Milk and other dairy products can contribute to prostate cancer in several ways. According to one report, drinking large quantities of milk or eating a lot of dairy products may increase cell proliferation in the prostate. This can lead to prostate cancer.

The hormones in dairy can also lead to prostate cancer. Dairy products (and meat) contain a hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) that may increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer. Studies show that men with high IGF-1 blood levels are up to 40 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer when compared to men with low IGF-1 levels.

If you cannot do without some dairy, choose fat-free or low-fat options, because drinking high-fat whole milk has been found to increase a man’s risk of progressing to fatal prostate cancer. Choose organic milk, which does not include synthetic hormones. Also, if you really are trying to cut dairy out of your diet, it is a good idea to read labels of your medicines and supplements. If you are shopping for prostate supplements, choose a dairy-free prostate supplement.

Diet and prostate health

If you are concerned about your prostate health and preventing prostate cancer, there are many other lifestyle and dietary changes you can make. Be aware of the other foods to avoid over 40 as well as the best foods for prostate health. Instead of eating meat every night, experiment with adding some plant-based proteins and fish to your diet. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, opting for organic when possible to reduce your pesticide exposure.

If you already have been diagnosed with prostate cancer you are probably interested in the best diet during cancer treatment. This involves eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. It is also important to regularly consume a significant amount of natural cancer killers that have been found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer such as cayenne pepper, green tea, tomatoes, pomegranate, vitamin D and more.

Whether you are trying to prevent prostate cancer or keep it from returning, knowing what foods to avoid and what foods to eat can help you lower your risk factors. In addition to a healthful diet, it is important to exercise regularly and watch your weight, as these will also help in fighting prostate cancer and managing other prostate conditions.

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  1. Sinha R et al. “Meat and meat-related compounds and risk of prostate cancer in a large prospective cohort study in the United States” — Am J Epidemiol 2009 Nov 1; 179(9): 1165-77.



Dr. Geo Espinosa

By Dr. Geo Espinosa

Dr. Geo Espinosa is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist and certified functional medicine practitioner recognized as an authority in holistic urology and men’s health. He is Clinical Assistant Professor and holistic clinician in Urology at New York University Langone Medical Center. As an avid researcher and writer, Dr. Geo has authored numerous scientific papers and books including co-editing the Integrative Sexual Health book, and author of the best selling prostate cancer book: Thrive, Don't Only Survive.