Updated: Jan 4
Does Diet Affect Cancer?
Many factors influence the development of cancer, but it is seen that around 30-40% of cancer cases are related to Unhealthy Lifestyle and not eating nutritious diet. Science has also shown that diet, physical activity, and body weight, especially being overweight or obese are major risk factors for developing certain types of cancer. Your body’s ability to resist cancer may be helped by following a healthy diet, staying physically active, and avoiding excess body fat.
Study after study suggests that a healthy diet one rich in a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (beans), and low in red and (especially) processed meat can fight cancer. Researchers have known for some time that this general pattern of eating provides vitamins, minerals, and protective and naturally occurring plant substances known as phytochemicals can help to defend the body against cancer and other diseases. The scientific community has identified many naturally occurring substances in plant foods with the power to defuse potential carcinogens.
Nutrients and natural phytochemicals flush out toxins and usher them from the body before they can cause cell damage that may lead to cancer. Others seem to make it easier for the body to make repairs at the cellular level. Still others may help stop cancer cells from reproducing. Even after a cell begins to experience damage that can lead to cancer, what you eat and drink, and how you live can still help short-circuit the cancer process.
Does Sugar Feed Cancer?
The belief that white sugar in the diet somehow
“feeds” cancer is very common, but the truth is
more complicated. All cells, including cancer
cells, in the body use sugar (glucose) from the
bloodstream for fuel. Glucose is the primary fuel
for our bodies and our brains. Blood glucose comes from foods containing carbohydrates, including healthful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
When there is not enough carbohydrate in the diet, some glucose is even produced by the body from protein containing foods through a special process. The connection between sugar and cancer is indirect. Eating a lot of high-sugar foods may mean more calories in your diet than you need, which can lead to excess weight and body fat. It is excess body fat that has been convincingly linked to greater risk of several types of cancer. Highly refined foods and foods with added sugars, such as sugary drinks and sweets, are also low in fiber and low in nutrients. They add little to the diet except calories. These foods may also increase insulin resistance, and this has been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and overweight and obesity.
Should I Only Eat Organically Grown Foods?
Yeah!! Big mind twister question, which is asked very frequently, there are many reasons why people may prefer to eat foods grown organically with fewer pesticide residues. Eating foods that contain pesticides could increase cancer risk slightly.
However, studies clearly affirm that consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whether grown conventionally or organically, is an important part of a diet that lowers overall cancer risk.
Body Weight and Its Link to Cancer Development
The link between excess body fat and cancer was one of the strongest findings from AICR’s report and its continuous updates. These comprehensive reviews of cancer research worldwide calculated that approximately 53% cancer cases each year are linked to excess body fat. Specifically, AICR found that obesity increases risk for at least seven types of cancer: colorectal, postmenopausal breast, kidney, pancreatic, endometrial, gallbladder, and a common variety of esophageal cancer called adenocarcinoma.
These cases are in very high numbers and are easily avoidable if one follows Healthy Lifestyle alongwith keeping plate half full with vegetables and fruits.
You can online consult here nutrition and cancer.