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Diet and Colon Cancer: Are You at Risk?

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Professor Lovat
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There is strong evidence to suggest that certain foods can increase your risk of being diagnosed with colon cancer in your lifetime.

A healthy, balanced diet is extremely important for your general health, but this is even more the case when it comes to life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

At Gastro London, we are dedicated to promoting awareness of colon cancer and ways you can lower your risk of being diagnosed with it. Here, we will show you the foods that can increase and decrease your likelihood of developing colon cancer, helping you to lead a healthier lifestyle.

 

Lowered Risk – Fibre

Research by the World Cancer Research Fund has suggested that eating a diet rich in fibre can lower your risk of developing colon cancer.

As well as preventing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, fibre aids healthy digestion and rids your body of potential cancer-causing agents. Fibre also helps to carry bile acids out of your system, which if left in your system are believed to speed up the spread of cancer through the bowel. Eating a diet rich in fibre will also ease symptoms of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

It is because of this that fibre is strongly recommended as part of a healthy balanced diet. Fibre can be found in many foods, such as fruit, vegetables, and cereals such as flour, wholemeal pasta and bread

Increased Risk – Red and Processed Meats

There is strong evidence to suggest that eating excessive amounts of red and processed meats can significantly increase your risk of developing colon cancer.

In 2011, it was estimated that around 1 in 5 cases of colon cancer were linked to excessive consumption of these foods, meaning that people should restrict the amount they eat in order to lower their risk.

Red meats include lamb, pork and beef, while processed meats include salami, bacon and tinned meat. Because of the increased risk of colon cancer, it is best to limit your intake of these foods as much as possible, although red meat should still be consumed to maintain healthy levels of iron.

 

Lowered Risk – Fruits and Vegetables

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential to good health, and can work to prevent the development of colon cancer as well as other cancers.

Fruits and vegetables are protective due to their high levels of vitamins and minerals. These prevent cell damage, which is believed to cause cancerous cells to develop.

According to government and NHS guidelines, a healthy balanced diet should include at least five different fruits and vegetables a day, and these should account for around a third of your overall diet.

Increased Risk – Fats

Diets that are high in fat are also believed to contribute to the development of colon cancer.

A high fat intake is detrimental to your general and digestive health, and therefore you should manage your fat intake sensibly.

It is best to avoid fast foods and takeaways as much as possible, as well as managing your intake of full-fat milk and processed foods.

Eating a healthy balanced diet is imperative to leading a long, healthy life, and this is even more the case when it comes to cancer. If you are concerned about your digestive health and you require a colonoscopy in London, please do not hesitate to contact the London Gastroenterology Centre today by calling 020 7183 7965.

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