7 Foods To Avoid After Prostate Surgery

Prostate surgery can affect your weight, appetite, and eating habits. 

Many patients start consuming processed and unhealthy foods right after their surgery, which may lead to urinary incontinence, bladder irritation, and delayed recovery from the surgical procedure. 

This article discusses seven foods to avoid after prostate surgery.

Why Is a Healthy Diet Important After Surgery?

After surgery, eating nutritious and healthy foods becomes that much more important. But adhering to a healthy diet can sometimes be difficult for patients during their recovery phase. 

Choosing a diet that comprises fresh fruits and vegetables and is devoid of processed food items can play a tremendous role in regaining strength after surgery. Eating the right foods ensures the synthesis of necessary building blocks of proteins that your body needs to prioritize recovery. 

Consuming unhealthy foods like spices, high-fat, carbonated beverages, and alcohol right after surgery can offer numerous side effects and may sap your appetite and drain your energy. 

For instance, eating spicy food can cause constipation, irritate your bladder, and result in urinary incontinence – leading to pain and difficulty in urination. Therefore, eating a whole food diet is crucial for recovery and preventing complications like high blood glucose and constipation. 

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7 Foods To Avoid After Prostate Surgery

The following is a list of foods that you should avoid after prostate surgery.

1. Cheese 

Constipation is very common even after non-abdominal surgeries. This is because the functioning of the gastrointestinal system is temporarily altered because of a lack of general movement, pain medication, and anesthesia. 

Consumption of soft cheese can also cause constipation. High-fat cheese can also trigger nausea, so it is recommended not to eat cheese for a few days after surgery. 

2. Spicy Foods

As already discussed, spicy and fried foods are not rich in essential nutrients. These types of foods can wait till your body is fully recovered and replenished with essential nutrients. After the surgery, it is good to focus on consuming foods with a high nutritional value, such as zinc, vitamin C, D, and E, and protein. 

Moreover, surgeons do not recommend eating spicy foods right after surgery because it can upset your stomach and irritate your bladder. Eating fried foods can often trigger vomiting and nausea.  

3. Alcohol

Your body requires healthy fluids to recover after surgery. But consumption of alcohol can lead to severe dehydration. Doctors also suggest that alcohol should not be consumed in combination with prescription pain medications. 

So, if you’re taking pain medications after surgery, it is imperative that you avoid alcohol because pain medication combined with alcohol can slow down your breathing and affect thinking. 

Drinking the following fluids can help your post-operative recovery process:

  • Water

  • Fruit juices

  • Tea

  • Sparkling water mixed with fresh fruit juice

  • Non-alcoholic beverages

4. Highly Processed Foods

Focusing on nutritious and high-quality food is very important if you want to recover faster after surgery. Highly processed snack foods, such as chips, ice cream, cake, and cookies might taste good, but they are not a good nutritional choice. 

Lack of fiber, minerals, and vitamins delays the time the body takes to heal. Low-fiber processed foods can also cause constipation. 

High fat and sugar in processed foods promote unnecessary inflammation. Instead of highly processed foods, opt for cruciferous vegetables and fresh fruits.

5. Red Meat

Post-operative patients are not advised to eat red meat because it is has a very high saturated fats profile. Although red meat, like beef, is rich in lean proteins, it produces polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) when cooked at a very high temperature. These carcinogens increase the risk of the development of certain cancers. 

Daily consumption of the following red and processed meat has been linked with iron overload and certain cancers after surgery:

  • Hot dogs

  • Sausage

  • Lunch meats

  • Pork

  • Beef

Proteins can help you recover faster after surgery. You should try these protein sources instead of red and processed meats:

  • Nuts and nut butter

  • Beans and legumes

  • Lean poultry, like chicken or skinless turkey 

6. Milk & Dairy Products

Like red meat, a very high daily consumption of full-fat milk and dairy products can cause constipation and bloating in some patients post-surgery. 

The surgery itself can significantly impact the digestive system. Consumption of dairy products can further add to the workload and functioning of the digestive system. 

Try to limit these dairy products:

  • Full fat butter 

  • Full fat cheese

  • Whole milk

  • Full fat ice cream

7. Added Sugars

Consuming sugary foods, artificial sweeteners, and sugary beverages after the surgery not only affects your digestive system but also depletes your body of essential nutrients, resulting in slow recovery. 

Post-surgery, your body needs minerals and vitamins. High-sugar foods, such as white rice, white bread, and sugary cereals, can delay the body’s healing process, causing bloating, and promoting inflammation because of minimal nutritional value. 

You should try the following sources rather than added sugar:

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Brown rice

  • Cruciferous vegetables

  • Fresh juice


Your body’s reserves are completely drained after surgery. Therefore, it is crucial to replenish your body with essential nutrients and avoid harmful food that can impair your recovery process. The list discussed in this article covers the majority of the foods that should be avoided post-surgery.

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  1. Gong Z, Kristal AR, Schenk JM, Tangen CM, Goodman PJ, Thompson IM. Alcohol consumption, finasteride, and prostate cancer risk. Cancer 2009;115:3661–9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19598210/
  2. Song P, Lu M, Yin Q, Wu L, Zhang D, Fu B, et al. Red meat consumption and stomach cancer risk: a meta-analysis. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2014;140:979–92. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24682372/

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