What to Eat

Watch Dr. Moyad explain how
simple dietary changes can
lower your weight, cholesterol
level, and more.

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Eating Right Is Part of a
Healthy Lifestyle43

You Are What You Eat

When you eat healthy and exercise, your whole body is affected. All in all, a healthier lifestyle is good for you.

Count your calories

To maintain your weight, control your intake of calories. Start by:

  • Reading nutrition labels44
  • Watching your portion sizes
  • Monitoring your intake of fat calories44,45

Good vs bad: not all fats are created equal45,46

Types of Dietary FatCommon Sources
These good fats can help lower your cholesterol when part of a healthy diet:
Monounsaturated fatHealthy plant-based cooking oils (such as canola oil and olive oil), nuts
Polyunsaturated fat (includes omega-3 fatty acids) Healthy plant-based cooking oils, fish, flaxseed, nuts, soybeans
These bad fats can raise your cholesterol, which is bad for your heart:
Saturated fat (also known as hydrogenated fat) Non-lean meats, high-fat dairy products, many fast foods
Trans fat (also known as partially hydrogenated fat) Some margarine, fast foods, processed snack foods, deep-fried food items

Stay away from bad fats

Focus your fat intake on unsaturated fats, which can help lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) level.46 Fish, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are all good sources of unsaturated fats.45

Read nutrition labels

Once you become familiar with the product labels, you’ll have a better understanding of what is healthy or unhealthy. Unhealthy options are high in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

The chart below, from the US Food and Drug Administration, features the Daily Values, based on a 2,500-calorie diet. A person who consumes fewer than 2,500 calories a day should consume less than the values listed in each category.47

Daily Values (Based on 2,500 Calories/Day)47
Total fat80 grams
Saturated fat25 grams
Cholesterol300 mg
Sodium2,400 mg*
Total carbohydrates375 grams

*The American Heart Association's revised sodium guidelines recommend less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day with an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.39

Heart-healthy foods are low in calories, unhealthy types of fat (saturated and trans fat), cholesterol, and sodium.48

Eat more fiber

Eating fiber-rich foods—for example, beans, fruits, vegetables, bran cereals, flaxseed, whole grains, and oats—can help many areas of your body, such as heart, prostate, and digestive health. There are several benefits to adding fiber to your diet, including helping to:

  • Make you feel full, which can help control your weight49
  • Lower cholesterol49
  • Improve your blood sugar balance, which is especially important if you have diabetes50
  • Make bowel movements easier50
  • Reduce the risk of digestive problems50

How much fiber should you have? If you are a man older than 50 years, 30 grams a day should be your goal.50,65

Flaxseed and soy

Flaxseed is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals called lignans. Flaxseed (and its oil) is used:

  • As a laxative51
  • To help improve digestive health51
  • To help relieve constipation51
  • To help reduce the risk of heart disease45


The addition of soy protein to a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.52 Consuming 25 grams or more of soy per day has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.52

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be good for your overall health and may be good for your prostate. They are found in43:

  • Cold-water fish (salmon, trout, herring, and sardines)
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Soybeans
  • Canola oil

Broil or bake fish in healthy oils such as canola, olive, safflower, or soybean.46 Avoid eating fried fish because the trans fats in fried foods are unhealthy. Some studies have shown an association between eating fish three times a week and lowering your risk of prostate cancer.43

Make smart choices

A healthier lifestyle means making smart choices whenever possible.

  • Be sure to substitute unhealthy foods with foods that are nutritious and beneficial whenever possible.
    • Avoid fried foods.53
    • Eat broiled or baked fish.28,53
    • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products are all smart choices.54
    • Use healthier cooking oils such as canola, olive, safflower, and soybean oils.46
    • Opt for steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes at restaurants.53
  • Choose the most nutritionally rich foods you can from each food group each day—foods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other essential nutrients that are lower in calories.
    • Increase your daily fiber intake (a 50-year-old man should have 30 grams of fiber each day) through a variety of food sources.50,65
    • Drink plenty of water when you increase your fiber intake.51
    • Eat a few servings of fish each week.28
    • Look for healthy sources of protein and fat—such as fish, lean meats, nuts, and seeds.54
    • Don’t try to cut out fat altogether because your body needs these nutrients and cutting out good fats can decrease good cholesterol.46
  • Read nutrition labels54
    • Count your calories; also, consider how much fat, protein, and carbohydrates the foods you eat contain.54
    • Watch your serving sizes—eat smaller portions of food.54,55

Meal replacements

If you and your doctor have decided to use meal replacement products as a part of your nutrition program, AbbVie Inc. offers a variety of options. Learn more about meal replacements here.

Much of the lifestyle information found on Prostate.com is also featured in Promoting Wellness for Prostate Cancer Patients by Mark Moyad, MD, MPH. A co-director of the Men’s Health Program at the University of Michigan,
Dr Moyad is on the staff at the University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Urology. He is the Jenkins/Pokempner endowed Director of Preventive and Alternative Medicine. Ask your healthcare provider about obtaining a copy of Dr Moyad’s book.