Strong evidence suggests that eating a "Western-type" diet, characterized by a high intake of added sugars, meat, saturated fat, as well as fast food, and other processed foods, are risk factors for many chronic diseases, including cancer.
Modifying dietary patterns to incorporate daily consumption of plant-based foods containing anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals is a viable strategy for incorporating Nutrition in Cancer Prevention. A healthy eating habit can lower cancer risk by 10% to 20% overall. According to NCBI, Laboratory studies demonstrate that high quantities of many phytochemicals in a plant-based diet contributes to its chemo preventive impact. These phytochemicals disrupt various cellular mechanisms involved in cancer growth, as well as inflammatory activities that promote cancer development.
Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds found in plant foods: vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Phytochemicals include: carotenoids (beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein), isoflavones, flavonoids, indoles. Learn more about phytochemicals on our blog.
Cancer Prevention Recommendations:
Make pulses (legumes), such as beans and lentils, and whole grains a significant part of your regular diet. There is substantial evidence that eating whole grains lowers the risk of colorectal cancer and that consuming foods high in dietary fiber lowers the risk of obesity, weight gain, and other conditions that enhance the risk of many cancers.
Fast food is “convenience food” with a high calorie content that is usually consumed in large quantities. Strong evidence exists that eating a "Western-type" diet, characterized by a high intake of added sugars, meat, and fat, as well as fast food and other processed foods high in unhealthy fats, starches, or sugars, are factors in weight gain, overweight, and obesity, which are risk factors for many cancers.
Red meat is beef, pork, lamb, mutton, and goat. There is a clear link between eating red meat, and processed meat, and the increase the risk of a variety of cancers. The evidence for colorectal cancer is the strongest. Processed meats include products such as sausages, bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats. Any meat preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or added preservatives is considered processed meat. These methods of meat preservation have the potential to produce carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).
When cutting back on red meat and processed meat, consider these high-quality sources of protein:
Strong evidence suggests that routinely consuming sugar-sweetened beverages in large amounts can contribute to weight gain and obesity in adults and children. As previously mentioned, obesity raises the risk of cancer.