Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Nutrition and Exercise Guidelines For Men's Health

(StatePoint) We all know that eating right and exercising are good for us. But exactly what to eat and how much to exercise are details that seem to be constantly changing, as researchers conduct new studies and new scientific discoveries are made.

For instance, one day we're told that tomatoes are critical for men's health -- specifically prostate health -- and the next day broccoli and pomegranate juice top the list.

Clarity has now arrived on critical men's health issues. The latest science-based guidelines on nutrition and exercise as they relate to prostate health and cancer prevention have just been released by the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).

"New research underscores the importance of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. It also calls for approximately 30 minutes of daily exercise," says Howard Soule, chief scientist for the PCF. "We've also learned that it's not just what we eat, but how we cook it that can make a difference. For example, when meat is cooked to the point of charring it creates a substance that could cause prostate cancer."

Here are some highlights from the latest guidelines for men's health, according to "Nutrition, Exercise and Prostate Cancer," a new publication issued by the PCF:

* Being fat can be worse for you than once thought. We all know that being overweight can be a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Now comes word that excess fat -- especially around your middle -- can produce substances that foster cancer growth.

* Getting nutrients from fruits and vegetables is more healthful than getting the same nutrients from processed foods or vitamin supplements. There are many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances in colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and spices -- nearly all of which are absent from processed foods that rely on sugar, salt, and fat for flavor. Focus your diet on fresh produce, ocean-caught fish, and whole grains.

* Drinking beverages such as pomegranate juice and green and black tea can increase antioxidant levels. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, wasabi mustard, and horseradish all contain a substance that can "sponge up" reactive oxygen molecules before they form free radicals that can mutate the genetic make-up of prostate cells.

* Overcooking meat at high temperatures produces a cancer-causing substance that has been shown to cause prostate cancer. In addition, charbroiling red meat or chicken with its skin intact, produces another set of carcinogens. Use alternate cooking methods, such as steaming or baking instead of charbroiling or pan-frying. When grilling, marinate meat and turn it frequently to reduce charring.

* Excess sugar doesn't just make you fat -- it can be a prime energy source for cancers. It also causes your body to produce more insulin which can lead to diabetes and even prostate cancer.

* Exercise 30 minutes daily, or at a minimum 30 minutes three times a week. Avoiding the muscle loss common with aging, inactivity, and hormonal therapies and/or gaining muscle through increased protein intake and exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, giving you more energy and better health.

For more details on the latest guidelines for prostate health, visit www.pcf.org, where you can download or order the new guide, "Nutrition, Exercise and Prostate Cancer."

However, changing dietary patterns and exercise habits is not easy. You need to make time and commit at a deep level.

For more information on men's health and prostate cancer, visit www.pcf.org.

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