Thanks to our Bringing Balance guest blogger, Wendy McCallum for this very special post about a very special month.
Itʼs that time of year again. My husband grows a “mustache” every November and raises money for prostate cancer. I use the term “mustache” lightly. Itʼs more of a spattering of stray hairs — nothing manly about it, really. But itʼs all for a great cause, supporting prostate health and research.
In honour of Movember, this post is for all the HRM dads (“mo bros”) out there, and their supportive wives (or as we call them in Movember, “mo sistas”).
Prostate cancer will affect one in seven men in Canada, and is affecting men in their 40ʼs more and more. It is inﬂuenced by a number of factors, at least two of which are within a manʼs control: diet and weight.
Most of us know that being overweight can increase a personʼs risk of developing many types of cancers. But did you know that, according to a 2007 research study, if you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are obese, you are also 2.5 times more likely to die from that diagnosis than if you were at a healthy weight?
In addition, a high-saturated fat/low-ﬁbre diet, the type of diet that often leads to an unhealthy weight, is connected to an increased risk of prostate cancer. The theory is that fat increases a manʼs production of testosterone, which may help prostate cancer cells grow. Healthy fats, however, may actually do the opposite.
So what can you HRM dads do to reduce your risk? Lose the spare tire and clean up your diets!
Here are a few basic, healthy changes to get you started:
• Eat 5-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (Do I sound like a broken record on this one yet?). Keep a log, see how you are doing, and if you are below 5, start including a serving with every snack & meal — itʼs really that easy to get to 5;
• Increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake, by eating more small cold-water fatty ﬁsh, walnuts, tofu, leafy green veggies and colorful produce, and by incorporating healthy plant oils like ﬂax into dressings & dips;
• Even when we are eating a healthy, balanced diet, itʼs tough for us to get enough omega-3, so consider talking to your health care provider about taking a daily omega-3 supplement, such as a good-quality ﬁsh oil (donʼt worry, it doesnʼt taste like ﬁsh). The bonus is, this has loads of other great beneﬁts, including supporting cardiovascular health and decreased inﬂammation;
• Decrease your saturated fat. Simplest way to do this? Reduce your animal intake and increase your plant intake. That means cutting back on meat and high-fat dairy. Consider going vegetarian a couple of meals a week, and try some non-dairy substitutes once in a while.
• Avoid processed and fast foods as much as possible. Youʼll reduce calories, saturated fat and harmful additives in the process. In addition, fresh whole foods naturally contain loads of ﬁbre, while processed and fast foods often donʼt.
These changes will also go a long way towards shedding any excess weight you are carrying around with you.
If you are interested in growing a “mo” and supporting the cause, check out: http://ca.movember.com
Happy Movember everyone!
Wendy McCallum, LLB, RHN, is passionate about providing busy parents with the tools & support they need to feed their families wholesome food, so everyone can play, learn, and feel better! She is a mother of two terrific HRM kids, both aged 7. For information and recipe ideas, visit her website.