Cancer: Healthy diet to reduce your risk
Everyone knows someone who has battled cancer, or they have fought the battle themselves. Cancer can affect anyone. Do we have to sit back and wait our turn for the inevitable diagnosis, or can cancer be prevented?
Cancer can affect anyone, but some people are at higher risk than others. Although some risk factors, such as inherited mutations, are fixed, a range of modifiable lifestyle and environmental factors can have a strong influence on cancer risk, meaning many cases of cancer are preventable. Between 30 and 50 percent of all cancer cases are estimated to be preventable through healthy lifestyles and avoiding exposure to occupational carcinogens, environmental pollution and certain long-term infections.
This quote comes from the Third Expert Report on Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: A Global Perspective, a detailed report full of up-to-date information about cancer, its causes and how to prevent it.
I am not going to go into how cancer develops in detail. In short… "Cancer develops when the normal processors that control cell behaviour fail and a rogue cell becomes the progenitor of a group of cells that share its abnormal behaviours or capabilities. This generally results in the accumulation of genetic damage in cells over time." These cancer cells are the beginning of a tumour, which when combined with other factors, result in cancer.
Diet and Cancer Prevention
The fact that diet and exercise affect the integrity of our DNA, and that damaged DNA is the root cause of cancer, it is clear that at least some cancers can be prevented by eating well and being more physically active.
There is strong evidence that being over weight and having a higher body fat percentage is a cause of many cancers. Apart from preventing diseases of lifestyle such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, is important for preventing some cancers too. A healthy, balanced diet is always going to be the best way to lose weight, but more importantly it will help you to maintain your weight loss over a longer period because you are more likely to develop healthy habits that can be sustained. As a dietician, I can help you lose weight and maintain it without feeling deprived.
Fruit and Vegetables
Red and Processed Meat
The changes that need to be made to reduce the risk of cancer may seem insurmountable, but they are worth making. Start slowly by being more mindful of what you eat on a daily basis. Drop me and email if you would like some help making these changes.
Yours in health