How Diet Influences Your Risk Of Cancer

How Diet Influences Your Risk Of Cancer

It is estimated that 1 in 10 cancers in the UK are linked to diet. Being overweight may create about 7% of cancers in women. There are many reasons why people are overweight, but an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are often factors. It is very important to keep up a healthy diet.

Here is a breakdown of the food categories which will increase or decrease your risk of cancer, as well as helpful tips on how to change your diet.

Fruit and Vegetables

Around 6% of cancers in men, particularly mouth, throat and lung cancer, are partly due to not enough fruit and vegetables in the diet. This is because eating fruit and vegetables helps you keep a healthy weight (reducing the risk of obesity, another contributing factor to cancer development), as well as providing you with essential vitamins and minerals.

You can:

  • Add dried berries to your breakfast cereal
  • Drink freshly squeezed fruit juice with your meal
  • Swap out your usual snack for dried bananas or apricots.

High Fibre Foods

You can reduce your risk of bowel cancer by eating more foods which are high in fibre. These include fruits and vegetables, however, whole grains have been proven to be the most effective by studies. Scientists think that the amount of fibre in your diet may cause the bacteria in your gut to produce more helpful chemicals which alter bowel conditions, as well as keeping you regular.

You can:

  • Try eating whole grain bread and cereal instead of your usual.
  • Add pulses to salads
  • Add prunes to your porridge, or eat them as a snack.

Salty Foods

Experts believe that an excess of salt increases the risk of stomach cancer. This could be for a number of reasons. Firstly, salt interacts with stomach bugs which are linked to cancer as well as stomach ulcers, increasing the risk of both. Secondly, salt causes damage to the lining of the stomach, causing inflammation.

You can:

  • Refrain from adding table salt to your meal
  • Reduce your intake of salt-preserved foods such as pickled vegetables and cured meats
  • Choose foods which have a naturally strong flavour, so that more seasoning is not necessary.

Further Reading

Suggestions For An Optimal Cancer Diet: Hoaxes and Myths Not Discussed

Understanding Cancer Dehydration

How to help a friend with cancer

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