Cancer Risk Can Be Reduced By Making These Changes To Your Diet

It's estimated that if Americans adopted a healthier diet, as many as 50 percent of all cancer cases could be avoided.

Cancer Risk Can Be Reduced By Making These Changes To Your Diet
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It's estimated that if Americans adopted a healthier diet, as many as 50 percent of all cancer cases could be avoided.

The search for a cure for cancer is decades old, and while new treatments full of promise are constantly emerging, a true cure has yet to be identified by medicine. There are many studies, however, that show that the incidence of cancer (one of the leading causes of death worldwide) could likely be reduced through some changes to the typical American diet. In fact, Healthline reports that following a healthy diet could prevent 30 to 50 percent of all cancer cases. That means that the National Cancer Institute‘s estimated 1,735,350 Americans who will be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2018 could be cut to as few as 867,675 through a healthy diet. Nearly 900,000 people a year could avoid developing cancer in a year. That’s significant. Here are some of the dietary changes that studies show could get Americans heading in this direction.

The first important change, not surprisingly, is to stop eating certain foods that have become American staples. On the top of the list is sugar and refined carbohydrates. Processed foods are chock full of these two dangerous ingredients. They are among the foods that cause a spike in blood glucose that’s associated with a higher incidence of stomach, breast, and colorectal cancer. It’s believed this may happen because a higher level of insulin, which stimulates cell division, encourages the growth of cancer cells. High levels of insulin and blood glucose also have an inflammatory effect on the body, creating a more receptive environment for cancer. The connection between insulin, blood glucose levels, and cancer is further supported by the fact that diabetics have a 122-percent-higher risk of colorectal cancer than those without diabetes. One study that included 47,000 adults showed that those who ate a diet with a high level of refined carbs were twice as likely to die from colon cancer than those whose diet included a low intake of refined carbs.

Another processed food that should be cut back on to reduce cancer risk is processed meat, which includes salted, cured, or smoked meats like hot dogs, ham, bacon, chorizo, salami, and deli meats. This is another category of food connected to a higher incidence of colorectal cancer, a 25 to 50 percent higher rate according to one study. Another study showed that as little as one hot dog or four slices of bacon daily can increase your risk by 18 percent.

Along with removing foods from your diet, studies show there are certain foods that Americans should add to their diets if they want to reduce their chances of getting cancer by as much as 70 percent. Fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants and phytochemicals fall into this category. Vegetables meeting this criteria include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Tomatoes and carrots have also been shown to reduce your chances of developing lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. One study showed that at least three servings of a citrus fruit each week decreases the risk of stomach cancer by 28 percent.

Flaxseeds have been shown to both prevent cancer and reduce its spread. Studies have shown that 30 grams (about 4 and one-fourth tablespoons) of flaxseed daily slowed the growth and spread of men with prostate cancer and women with breast cancer. Spices like cinnamon and curcumin that’s found in turmeric have also been shown to have cancer-fighting abilities, reducing cancerous colon lesions by 40 percent in one study.

There are many more studies that have shown that changes in your diet can reduce your risk of developing cancer and slow its growth and aid in treatment recovery if you do develop it. A more plant-based diet, limiting alcohol consumption, and consuming healthy fats are just some of the recommendations resulting from these studies.