Eat well & Get Check ups! Guys get cancer too but tend to be bad at both eating their greens and in getting themselves to the doctor for regular check-ups. Time to change that. As September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, we’re taking a moment to talk to guys specifically about their health.
To start with eating well, we figured that this might be a good time for a reminder that according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) certain lifestyle factors can adversely affect cancer risk to the point where they estimate that the risk of many of the most common cancers that affect men, including colorectal and prostate, could be reduced by as much as 30% if we change certain behaviors:
- Get more regular exercise, 7,500+ steps a day
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables – 3 servings of non- starchy veggies and 2 of fresh whole fruits every day
- Eat more lean meats like poultry and fish. Cut back on red meat. A portion should be 3-6 ounces, up to 18 ounces total a week (and not all in one go either)
- Cut out processed meats. Say goodbye to bacon and hot dogs!
- Eat more whole grains and legumes. Cut back on processed refined foods
- Cut out sugary sodas and beverages
- Cut back on alcohol –don’t overdo it
- Don’t smoke
- Keep a healthy weight.
Of course it’s OK to drink a beer or two now and then, eat up to 18 ounces of red meat a week too though not all in one go, and enjoy bacon once in a while. But guys, please, for your own wellbeing, take these guidelines seriously. We cannot recommend cutting back on the junk food, getting up off the couch, and eating your greens highly enough.
And now about the regular check-ups with your doctor: If you need convincing, check out the story of one of the CFYL honorees at our 2018 Gala, Fox TV personality and men’s health advocate Mike Woods. A prostate cancer diagnosis in 2018 taught him the hard way what can happen when you don’t. He went public with his cancer diagnosis and treatment to persuade men not to tough it out when something feels wrong, but to go to the doctor for regular check-ups. With cancer, outcomes are better when caught early.
Take heart. Making regular medical check ups a habit isn’t that hard nor is eating better. Just take it one step, and one bite at a time. These days the trope of veggies being boring rabbit food is totally out of date. Trust us, it’s easier than you think to make plant based eating a tasty, integral part of a man friendly diet. Check it out. But most of all, be good to yourselves and please, please take care of your health.