It pays to eat more vegetables if you want to cut your cancer risk
The heartbreak of cancer has touched many of us in different ways. My mum and dad both died from cancer, resulting from a less than ideal lifestyle. Growing up, I could see a lot of faults in their diet — and I wasn’t perfect either. As a vegetarian, I wasn’t the ideal model for nutritional success. Given that I suffered from many allergies, I found it hard to eat like the rest of my friends. In the ’90s, food allergies didn’t exist as they do now. My mission changed when mum passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2021. After that, I was more determined than ever to make healthy eating and lifestyle my top priority. I saw her deteriorate in months until she could no longer eat or drink. She suffered a lot — and I don’t want to walk the same path. I don’t think anyone should if all it takes is making simple lifestyle changes. We can all lower your overall cancer risk by eating meat five times or less per week. Why not take it a step further and get rid of all sources? I know that’s a stretch for many people. Still, after you’ve seen the devastation it can cause (as well as eating other less than ideal foods continuously), it’s no surprise that thousands of people are saying no to animal protein. Cody & colleagues from the University of Oxford in the UK delved deeper into the relationship between food and cancer risk. They analysed data collected from 472 377 British adults recruited between 2006 and 2010. These participants were between 40 and 70 years of age. Participants reported how frequently they ate fish and meat, whilst the researchers calculated the incidents of new cancer developed over about 11 years. This study also included factors like diabetes status, how many participants ate meat more than five times, less than five times, consumed fish but not meat, vegetarians and vegans. 54, 961 people developed cancer during the study period. Researchers found that overall cancer risk was less than 2 per cent among people who ate meat five or fewer times per week. Those who ate fish but not meat had a 10% rate. Vegetarians and vegans were at 14%. The baseline comparison was those who ate meat more than five times per week. Participants who ate meat five or less than five times per week had lower incidences of the following cancers: Colorectal Cancer risk was decreased by 19% Prostate cancer risk was lower than 20% for men who ate fish but not meat and 30% lower for vegetarianism. Postmenopausal vegetarian women had an 18% lower risk of breast cancer than those who ate meat more than five times per week. The postmenopausal findings suggest that this percentage occurred due to a lower body mass index than meat-eaters.
Key take away
From the evidence provided in this study, eating less meat in your diet per week is one of the critical factors which will eliminate your risk of certain cancers. If you want to lower your cancer risk, why not alternate between meat-free days or weeks, or eat more plant-based protein sources instead. Having a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables helps us in many more ways than eliminating cancer risk. Lifestyle habits provide us with better quality of life and minimise our chances of developing another debilitating disease as we age. So, do yourself a favour and add more vegetables and plant protein to your diet. Some healthy and delicious recipe options for you are below. (I threw in a keto meat-based recipe as well) Salmon Poke BowlOmega-three infusion into your lunch break-dimos.medium.com Keto Eggplant LasagnaBurn a bit more ketones for a lot more brainpower!a-dimos.medium.com Green Lentil CurryA good curry isn’t just for meat-eaters only!a-dimos.medium.com Veggie “Throw Together” SaladWhen you are lazy but still want to eat well, throwing things together is an absolute must!a-dimos.medium.com You can indulge in the bulk of the research at your leisure by checking out this resource here.
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