A man walks a wobbly path over giant cookies and other holiday treats.

Prostate Cancer Holiday Challenges

If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or are simply concerned about your health, there is growing evidence that eating well and staying active can go a long way to reduce the possibility of developing prostate cancer, or perhaps slowing its progression.

That advice is great until the “holidays” come along, and we find ourselves suddenly facing new challenges.

All those holiday calories

Be it Thanksgiving, Christmas or the 4th of July, the “holidays” present us with challenges on two fronts. With indulgent food at home and at social gatherings, it is hard (some say impossible) to escape the call of added calories and sugar. If that were not enough, we have New Year's Eve and the Super Bowl, where the food minefield is further enhanced with the lure of booze.

Since the "holidays" are all about consuming just a few more innocent calories with friends and family, we tend to put more emphasis on how to maintain weight vs. losing it.

Staying healthy while indulging

There is a light at the end of the temptation tunnel, however. But we need to do some advance planning. With focus and thinking, you can still have your favorite foods and at the same time stay healthy.

There is no need to spend hours in the gym. Walking is a great exercise, so why not start by parking your car a little farther every time you go shopping? Try walking whenever possible, even in cold weather. Any type of physical activity can help you de-stress and keep your weight stable.

The eggnog threat

And ...  what are the "holidays" without eggnog? This famous beverage can be a real threat to your diet. My advice is to keep a close count on the number of glasses of this punch and think about the calorie intake.

A danger that is often overlooked: alcohol can diminish inhibitions and lead to overeating as well. No matter how you look at it, booze is a hidden threat on many levels.

Bringing a dish

Due to serious health issues, my daughter does something rather interesting. When invited to a party or neighborhood gathering, she always offers to bring a dish. She calls in advance and volunteers to put a healthy spin on one of the planned comfort-food dishes.

Her offer is often appreciated, and it is especially important if you have concerns due to allergy, high cholesterol, or diabetes, for example. Best of all, if you have no healthy choices at an event, you can enjoy what you brought.

Identifying the holiday goodies

Should you be staying at home for any "holiday," why not do an inventory of the various goodies you have around the house? Just take a deep breath and clear out things like cookies and treats BEFORE you consume them.

If you are looking for additional motivation, read the many articles posted here and on the internet that suggest prostate cancer thrives on a diet high in sugar.

You may consider focusing on a diet consisting of raw vegetables, animal fat, healthy vegetable fats and some protein. Who knows: in the long run, a change in diet may be your best defense against prostate cancer.

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