diet and cancer

How Your Diet Affects Your Cancer Risk

We all know that tobacco and alcohol are bad for out health. However, most of us don’t give that much consideration to the food we eat. However, what you eat can have serious implications for your health, including your cancer risk.

Some foods reduce your cancer risk, whereas others can dramatically increase the likelihood of developing cancer. Fortunately, there’s a lot of research into cancer, so we learn more every day. Companies like invest a lot of time and money into cancer research, as well as possible cancer medication.

Improve your odds of never developing cancer by following these simple and logical dietary tips. Not only will you reduce your cancer risk, but you will feel healthier overall. Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease have all been consistently linked to improper diet.

What Cancers Are Linked to Diet?

Your diet can affect the occurrence of cancer mostly in your digestive tract, that is your mouth, throat, stomach, and bowels, but some link has been shown to exist between food and lung and larynx cancers as well.

It is important to note that scientists will rarely claim that something causes cancer. Most commonly, it is said that there is a strong link between the two phenomena. This is because the data is collected via large and long studies which give statistical results that need to be interpreted.

Processed Meat

If you have been shaken by the recent claims that bacon causes cancer, you need to put that claim into perspective. Even though processed meat, including bacon, salami, and ham are classified as Group 1 (carcinogenic to humans), the key component in the calculation what is bad for you is dosage.

The main issue with processed meats are the chemicals that are added to it. Nitrates and Nitrites are compounds which are often used to preserve meat. These compounds are naturally converted into N-nitroso compounds in our bodies. These NOCs are carcinogenic, which is what makes processed meat undesirable.

Red Meat

The same World Health Organization report which condemned processed meat warned that red meats like beef, lamb, and pork are also most likely carcinogenic. However, the source is not the same as with processed meat. The WHO claims that the carcinogen in red meat is the natural red pigment called haem.

The scientists have discovered two possible ways how haem can contribute to cancer development. The more direct way is that it can irritate cells it comes in contact with. Those irritated cells can mutate and become cancerous. The other way is by promoting the growth of harmful bacteria, which then increase the likelihood of developing cancer.

There’s another way meat consumption promotes cancer risk – the way it is prepared. Grilling meat at high temperatures can cause the production of various harmful chemicals like heterocyclic and polycyclic amines.

Fiber-rich Foods

Foods rich in fiber have long been promoted as beneficial for your health and regular bowel movements. However, they also seem to help the body reduce the risk of cancer. Fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains seem to reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

Even though the scientists aren’t exactly sure why that is, they do have some theories. The most likely explanation is that these foods reduce the amount of time harmful substances are in contact with your cells by regulating your bowel movements. The other highly endorsed theory is that fibers promote helpful bacteria growth.

These are just some ways your diet can promote or reduce the risk of cancer. Diet is one of the risk factors which we can have control over, so make sure that you make the right decision and improve your overall health.

Share this article

You are reading How Your Diet Affects Your Cancer Risk