Knowing Your Options to Lower Your Colon Cancer Risks
For individuals hoping to avert the risk of colon cancer, this article is for you. Find out what recent research reveals about the foods that people should and should not eat. Recommendations have changed as some foods once thought to increase or decrease the risk have been proven otherwise.
Warning: Eating Processed Meat Increases Colon Cancer Risk
Colorectal cancer is the top two cause of death among American men and women who have cancer. The most serious risk factor linked to colorectal cancer is obesity, which is brought about simply by eating too much food.
The primary advice for preventing colon cancer is still to avoid red meat and processed meat. In the last 10 years, the increase in the consumption of red meat correlated with the 30 to 40 percent increase in lower colon and rectal cancer risk. Men consumed a high 3 ounces of red meat everyday, while women ate 2 ounces.
In the last 10 years, colorectal cancer became more strongly correlated to the consumption of processed meats. There’s a 50 percent increase in the risk of lower colon and rectal cancer due to high processed meat consumption. Men had 1 ounce of processed meat 5 to 6 times every week, while women had 1 ounce 2 to 3 times every week.
That statistic is scary because it does not even talk about huge amounts of daily intake. Processed meats refer to foods that many people like to eat, such as bacon, hot dog and salami. But some innocent meats like sliced turkey are also included in this group of food items. Take note that anything “cured” goes through food processing.
A Plant-Based Diet for Colon Cancer Prevention
The American Cancer Society recommends that people follow a diet focused on plant foods and limit the amount of meat intake in order to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Once in a while, you can prepare a vegetarian dinner, so you can have something different to save your colon. A healthy diet is still one that has at least 5 servings of vegetables everyday. But the old belief that cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower impart a protective effect against cancer is no longer strongly regarded.
Other Dietary Tips for Colon Cancer Prevention
There’s also a different view now regarding dietary fat with respect to colon cancer. Fats from plant sources and fatty fish, such as salmon, are considered healthy and may be included in a cancer-smart diet. However, individuals are still advised not to go on a high-fat diet, even if it’s the healthy fat that’s included in the diet, because people need to watch their total calorie intake.
As for alcohol consumption, the general recommendation for women is to limit to one drink each day and for men is two drinks each day to reduce colorectal cancer risk.
The American Cancer Society recommends that men’s daily calcium intake limit be 1,500 mg only. Although calcium is good for protecting against colorectal cancer, having very high levels of calcium increases a man’s risk of prostate cancer. To be safe, follow the recommended daily allowance of calcium for your age and gender. Also, get your calcium from natural food sources.
By being aware of what food is good and bad for your health, you can make a better decision in controlling your diet and that is going to help lower your risks of colorectal cancer.
Photo credits: Inflatable Colon displayed at the Henry Ford Hospital during the Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by A Healthier Michigan via Flickr, CC by-SA 2.0