Cancer is a leading cause of death globally. And, the diet you follow may have a close association to it. Many scientific researches have pointed to this fact.
A study at Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus, says that a poor diet is on par with alcohol, excessive body weight and physical activity when it comes to cancer risk. Researchers estimate that diet-related factors may account for 80,110 of the new invasive cases reported in 2015, or 5.2 per cent of that year’s total among U.S. adults. This is comparable to the cancer burden associated with alcohol, which is 4 to 6 per cent.
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Excessive body weight, meanwhile, is associated with 7 to 8 per cent of the cancer burden. Physical inactivity is associated with 2 to 3 per cent. JNCI Cancer Spectrum published this study.
Experts believe that nearly 30 to 50 per cent of all types of cancers may be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet, regular exercise and mindful practices to reduce stress may help.
BEST AND WORST FOODS FOR CANCER
Experts who study different types of cancer have noticed that certain foods might increase the risk of developing cancer while other foods can reduce the risk. Foods with certain nutrients might also help with coping with the aftermath of various treatments too.
One of the major findings was that vegans and vegetarians had a considerably lower risk of developing or succumbing to any type of cancer. More precisely, 15 per cent and 8 per cent lower risk, respectively.
Nutritionists and experts believe that this is because individuals following either diet have an abundant intake of fresh produce and a relatively low intake of processed foods or meats that may increase the risk.
FOODS THAT INCREASE RISK OF CANCER
Here we reveal a few foods that can increase your risk of certain cancers.
A study that followed 4,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer found that the intake of whole fat dairy sped up the progression of the disease and even increased the risk of death. Some studies have also found that excessive consumption of dairy may increase your risk of prostate cancer. The link is still being studied. But scientists believe that this increase in risk may be due to calcium, estrogen and other components present in the milk obtained from pregnant cows.
Various studies have found a link between the regular consumption of processed meats like hot dogs, salami, bacon and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. It has been noted that individuals consuming very high quantities of these meats might have a 20 to 50 percent increased risk while those who consumed 50 grams of processed meats a day had an 18 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer.
Foods cooked at high temperatures
Cooking techniques like grilling, deep frying and barbecuing may be harmful because it could cause the build-up of carcinogens like heterocyclic amines (HA) and advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). It can cause or increase inflammation. Do not char or burn foods high in fat and protein like red meat, cream cheese, oils, nuts and some types of cheese.
Note: Use techniques like steaming or boiling that need lower temperatures.
Foods high in sugars and simple carbohydrates
Foods that cause a fluctuation in blood sugar levels might increase the risk of certain cancers. A study that observed more than 47,000 individuals noticed that those consuming foods high in simple carbs doubled their risk of succumbing to colon cancer. This is when compared to those who ate minimal simple carbs. Having diabetes increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 122 per cent. Stay away from processed foods that tend to contain high amounts of sugar.
FOODS THAT REDUCE RISK OF CANCER
There are others that can reduce the risk of developing cancer, including:
- Cauliflower, carrots and tomatoes
- Citrus and berries
- Beans and legumes
- Olive oil
Healthy lifestyle habits might reduce the risk of certain cancers. Understand your personal risks from your doctor. If you see any symptoms, get treatment immediately.