Protecting the Prostate

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Georgia Cancer SpecialistsA study published this week links eating fried foods to cancer – specifically prostate cancer. This may not be rocket science to you. Fried foods made the news a few years ago when lab tests commissioned by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) showed very high levels of a cancer-causing chemical “acrylamide” in french fries and snack chips.

But how does acrylamide get into our food supply?

Acrylamide forms during high-temperature baking or frying of starchy foods. According to CSPI, french fries were shown to have 300 times the amount of acrylamide allowed in one (8oz) cup of drinking water by the U.S. EPA.

The study published last weeklooked at the frequency of eating fried foods – specifically french fries, fried chicken, fried fish, doughnuts, and snack chips – among 1,549 men.

The authors found an increased risk for prostate cancer in those who ate french fries, fried chicken, fried fish, and doughnuts at least one time every week.

So what does this mean for cancer survivors?

According to this study, eating some deep-fried foods every week is associated an increased risk of prostate cancer. What we don’t fully understand yet is if this risk is just with deep-fried foods, or whether it is associated with eating foods exposed to high heat and/or other aspects of our American diets, such as eating fast food.

What can you do to reduce your risk?

Even if you aren’t willing to give up all fried foods yet, there are steps you can take to lower your risk:

  • Toss your deep fryer. Enough said.
  • Make fried foods a treat. Decide what your favorite fried food(s) are and treat yourself to a small serving once a month. Personally, I love fried green tomatoes – but make them a special treat a few times a year.
  • Make your own oven baked fries at home. Slice up your favorite fresh potatoes or sweet potatoes, toss in a light coating of olive or canola oil, spread single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F.
  • Try a healthier oven-fried chicken. This recipe from a Dr. Oz chef has less fat and calories – and may be just the trick to satisfy your craving.
  • Ditch the doughnuts. Bake your own healthy, hearty cherry pecan breakfast muffins full of nuts and dried fruits to reduce the temptation at the office.

Image courtesy of artemisphoto /

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