I have to admit; I love a nice medium rare NY strip now and then.
And I was a “happy camper” doing the paleo craze promoting the consumption of excellent health by eating very low carbs and more protein from red meat?
But as a researcher and clinician, I have to manage my biases and focus on what is best for my patients. Period.
This past year, after more even more than usual research, I conclude the following about eating red meat and prostate cancer:
- Eating red meat is not necessary at all for your health and longevity, with or without prostate cancer.
- You can get all your protein from a plant-based diet, but it requires discipline to stay away from simple carbs and eat whole-grains and other high protein-based plant foods like beans.
- If you are going to eat red meat a few things are important not to cause harm to your body:
- Eat Grass-fed or wild-caught meat (the good type), like elk when possible. These meats have much higher nutritional value and are likely neutral with regards to prostate cancer.
- Don’t overcook it at high temperatures. Eat it medium-rare at a minimum. If you don’t trust eating it like this is safe, then don’t have it at all. Meats cooked in high temp (charred) are likely more harmful than the meat itself.
- Always eat it with cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower for prostate cancer protection and overall optimal wellness.
- Add the spice rosemary to it. Just douse it on top of the steak. Rosemary has anti-cancer properties and limits the formation of cancer-causing chemicals from exposing the meat to heat.
- If eating a “good type,” eat it no more than two times a week. If eating the less than “good type, “eat it no more than once a week and follow the instruction from number 3.
Now you can have your steak and eat it too.
Make it a Great Day,
Sinha R., et al. (1998). Heterocyclic amine content in beef cooked by different methods to varying degrees of doneness and gravy made from meat drippings Food Chem. Toxicol 36 279–287.
Joshi AD1, Corral R, Catsburg C, Lewinger JP, Koo J, John EM, Ingles SA, Stern MC. Red meat and poultry, cooking practices, genetic susceptibility and risk of prostate cancer: results from a multiethnic case-control study. Carcinogenesis. 2012 Nov;33(11):2108-18.
Alexander DD, Mink PJ, Cushing CA, Sceurman B. A review and meta-analysis of prospective studies of red and processed meat intake and prostate cancer. Nutr J. 2010 Nov 2;9:50.