Do Certain Foods Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?

Do Certain Foods Reduce Your Risk of Cancer.jpg

It is always wise to limit consumption of high-sugar content foods, red meat and alcohol to have profound positive effects on many aspects of health.  Eating healthy foods filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants work together to lower the risk of many cancers including: lung, mouth, esophagus, stomach and colon cancers, and will also help control weight.

According to the American Cancer Association certain foods like sugar, alcohol and red meat increase your risk for cancer.  Let take a look at how:

Sugar and cancer

Sugar consumption is most often manifested in weight gain, and eventually, obesity.  Why does this matter? 1 out of every 3 cancers in the U.S. is linked to excess body weight, poor nutrition or physical inactivity.

Alcohol use and cancer

The following cancers are linked to alcohol use: mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, breast, colon and rectum.  The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed

Red Meat and cancer

Cutting back on processed meats (hot dogs, bacon, deli meat) and red meat, beef, pork and lamb may help reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancers.  These meats are also high in saturated fat, so a reduction in consumption will help lower risk of heart disease.

What can you do to decrease your risk of cancer?

Overall, one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer is consume a healthy diet, full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. A good, balanced diet should be coupled with exercise for at least 30 min on most days.  These two things together will help you to maintain a healthy body weight, and lower your risk of disease.

A good rule of thumb is following a Mediterranean diet.  Individually, most of the elements of the Mediterranean diet are heart-healthy.  The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have been cited over and over again.  The main staples of the diet include nuts, whole grains, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, unrefined cereals, lots of legumes, just as much fish, some cheese and yogurt and occasional consumption of wine. The cornerstone of this diet is its limit in the consumption of red meat to only a few times a month.

The diet as a whole has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality, the incidence of cancer mortality and may reduce the incidence of neurologic diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s. For this reason, the Mediterranean diet is championed by most, if not all major scientific institutions, not only as a diet, but a lifestyle change to prevent major life-shortening chronic diseases.