For some years now, the scientific world has been trying to collect conclusive studies for the connection between unhealthy diet and higher risk of cancer. Though it has been considered a contributing factor, studies have not been conclusive about whether a poor diet can lead to cancer, until recently.
Namely, on May 22, 2019, a study was published in the Oxford Academic Cancer Spectrum and showed a firm link between type of diet and cancer. The study was done back in 2015 and the results showed that around 5.2 percent of the new cases of cancer in that year were associated with a poor nutrition.
Continue reading the article if you want to learn more about this unpleasant finding!
Link between Cancer & Unhealthy Diets Proven?
Around 4.4 percent of the cancer cases were caused by an unhealthy diet. In the year of 2015, the 80,000 new cases of cancer diagnosis were associated with poor diet and colorectal cancer was the highest among the diet-caused cancer cases.
The diets of the participants were studied in connection with seven factors that is, whole grain, veggies, dairy, fruits, meat, processed meat, and sugar-rich drinks. A poor diet was considered one with a low amount of veggies, fruits, dairy, and whole grains and a higher amount of red and processed meats and sugar drinks.
The unhealthy diet contributed to the highest level of cancer and most of the individuals with this margin were middle-aged men between the ages of 45 and 64 and racial or ethnic minorities.
Foods that Can Lower the Risk of Cancer
The connection between some foods and nutrients and cancer can be challenging to determine due to several reasons.
Here are some of them:
- Some foods may have additional elements that may elevate or lower the reactions leading to cancer
- Sometimes, it is not just what we eat, but how much we eat of it. For example, red meats, when moderately consumed, may not lead to cancer; however, if you eat them every day of the week, your chances are higher
- There are external factors that may affect if a substance’s has lower or higher chances of leading to cancer; some of these factors include food preparation- if you cook red meat at high temperatures by frying or barbecuing, there is a release of a cancer-causing chemical
Foods that can Help in Cancer Prevention
According to Cancer. Net Editorial Board comprised of more than 150 medical professionals and patient advocates, here are the things we should add to our diets to lower our cancer risk:
- Red, yellow, orange, and dark green veggies from the carotenes family
- Tomatoes because they contain lycopene, a powerful carotenoid, as well as pink grapefruit, apricots, and watermelon
- Soy milk, tofu, edamame, and miso are considered safe soy products which may help lower the risk of breast cancer
- Antioxidant-rich foods like herbs, spices, some veggies, chocolate, coffee, apples, nuts, berries, and onions
- Fiber-rich foods like whole grains, beans, lentil, and split peas, as well as veggies and fruits
- Balance the intake of red meat like beef, veal, lamb, and pork to 18 oz on a weekly base
- Avoid processed meats like salami, lunch meat, hot dogs, jerky
- Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower may help regulate the enzymes which protect from cancer
- Avoid alcohol overconsumption due to being linked with higher risk of some cancer types