Six Tips to Help Prevent Cancer
Researchers with the Physicians Committee have published six dietary guidelines for cancer prevention in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Just in time for picnic and grilling season, the guidelines recommend eliminating hot dogs and avoiding red meat and instead throwing veggie kabobs and other plant-based foods on the grill. They also recommend eliminating dairy products and limiting alcohol.
The six dietary recommendations to reduce risk of several types of cancer are:
1. Limit or avoid dairy products to reduce risk of prostate cancer.
One glass of milk each day increases risk of prostate cancer by 10 percent. Consuming two glasses of milk each day increases risk of prostate cancer by 60 percent.
2. Limit or avoid alcohol to reduce cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, skin, and breast.
One drink per week increases risk of mouth, pharynx, and larynx cancers by 24 percent. Two to three drinks per day increase risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.
3. Avoid red and processed meat to reduce risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
Each 50-gram daily serving of processed meat, equivalent to two slices of bacon or one sausage link, increases risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.
4. Avoid grilled, fried, and broiled meats to reduce risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreas.
Certain heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are associated with cancer of the colon and rectum. HCAs form in cooked skeletal muscle, increasing with higher cooking times and higher temperatures. When ingested, HCAs can disrupt DNA synthesis.
5. Consume natural soy products, such as edamame, to reduce risk of breast cancer.
A global study shows women who consume 11 grams of soy protein each day reduce risk for both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer by about 30 percent.
6. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to reduce several forms of cancer.
The fiber and phytochemicals available in fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, help reduce overall cancer risk—while a Western diet (high amounts of meat and fat with minimal amounts of fruits and vegetables) doubles the risk.