Much research has focused on the relationship of nutrition with cancer. This article analyzes food families & how they affect risk for specific types of cancer.
Obesity leads to higher death rates for some types of cancer
Obesity is associated with higher death rates for cancer, particularly the following cancer types:
· stomach (in men)
Which foods are considered protective against cancer?
A diet rich in fiber is protective against rectal cancer. A daily threshold of about five servings of vegetables is considered to reduce risk of cancer in the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach and colorectum. The effect is stronger among older subjects (Slattery, 2004; Key, 2004).
Concerning fruits and vegetables, there is strong evidence for a protective effect for cancers of stomach, esophagus, lung, oral cavity and pharynx, endometrium, pancreas and colon (Steinmetz, 1996).
Meat, alcohol and salt increase cancer risk
The consumption of red and processed meat or meat products is significantly associated with colorectal cancer. In addition, meat and heterocyclic amines formed in cooking have been correlated to breast cancer (De Stefani, 1997).
Alcohol causes cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus and liver; it also slightly increases the risk for breast cancer (Key, 2004). Furthermore, salt-preserved foods and high salt intake probably increase the risk for stomach cancer (Key, 2004).
Finally, very hot drinks and foods probably increase the risk for cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and esophagus (Key, 2004).
What we eat can affect our risk of cancer
As discussed, diet is a very important component for health overall, and cancer in particular. The adoption of a dietary pattern emphasizing the high consumption of fruits and vegetables, in combination with the low consumption of red and processed meat could decrease the risk of cancer.