By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
August 7, 2017
- What can you do to prevent colorectal cancer?
- 3 ways to cut your odds of colon cancer by up to 86%
- More top-notch protection for your colon
Just last week I shared some of today’s latest breakthroughs when it comes to screening for colon cancer. Since then I’ve received several emails from readers asking what, specifically, they can do to prevent colon cancer in the first place.
Like any other type of cancer, personal choices play a large role in your risk of developing this potentially deadly form of cancer. And one of the areas you have the most control over is the foods you’re putting in your body.
For example, it only takes 50 grams of processed meat a day to increase your chances of colorectal cancer by about 18%. This is the equivalent of two sausage patties at breakfast or a single hot dog at lunch. It’s less than 2 ounces of ham on your ham sandwich.
Red meats that are cooked at high heat increase your chances by about the same. This is due to the cancer-causing compounds, like heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that are released when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
Sugary drinks also contribute to colon cancer risk. And I’m not just talking about soda. Sweet tea, coffee with sugar, sweetened fruit juices and sports drinks are all culprits.
And here’s something you’ll find very scary. When people who have already won the battle against colon cancer drink two or more of these beverages a day, it boosts their chances of recurrence or death by almost 70%.
3 Changes that Can Cut Your Odds of Colon Cancer by up to 86%
Just recently there was a global meeting in Europe. It was the 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer. And one of the messages coming out of the meeting was very loud and clear.
Eating a Mediterranean style diet is one of the best things you can do to prevent colon cancer!
It turns out that people who have clear colonoscopies are ones that adhere most closely to a Mediterranean style diet. At the same time, those who have advanced polyps are less likely to eat like a Mediterranean.
In fact, reports coming out of the meeting suggest that adopting just three components of the Mediterranean diet can reduce your odds of colon cancer by an astounding 86%.
These three components include:
Load up on fish. There is strong evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish have anti-colorectal cancer activities. These healthy fats are chemo-protective, protect against polyps and may help prevent cancer recurrence.
To avoid excess mercury, choose fish that are lower down on the food chain. Smaller fish like Pacific halibut, mackerel, Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, rainbow trout and flounder are your best bet. Always choose fish that are wild-caught to avoid chemical exposure.
Eat more fresh fruit. Eating plenty of fruit is associated with a little more than 30% reduced odds of having advanced precancerous lesions in the colon. Fresh, organic fruits are always your best choice.
Cut back on soft drinks. Sodas aren’t an element of the Mediterranean diet. And since sugars fuel the growth of cancer cells, they shouldn’t be part of a colon-healthy way of eating.
Just these three things will go a long way in protecting you from colorectal cancer. But if you want top-notch protection, I suggest taking it even further.
Top-Notch Protection for Your Colon
Mediterranean’s don’t eat a lot of red meat, processed meat or packaged foods.
Instead, they load their tables with fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds and beans. Everything is liberally seasoned with olive oil, spices and herbs. They drink wine in moderation.
These healthful foods are filled with compounds that work synergistically to not only protect you from colon cancer, but other cancers as well. Plus, when you eat these vibrant foods on a regular basis, it can help you lose weight and reduce metabolic disorders that may elevate your cancer risk.
These are just a few more reasons – among many, many others – that make switching to a Mediterranean style diet a good choice for you and your family.
IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat. Press Release. World Health Organization. Oct 2015.
Cross AJ, et al. A large prospective study of meat consumption and colorectal cancer risk: an investigation of potential mechanisms underlying this association. Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 15;70(6):2406-14.
Fuchs MA, et al. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake and cancer recurrence and survival in CALGB 89803 (Alliance). PLoS One. 2014 Jun 17;9(6):e99816.
World GI 2017 Press Release: Zoning in on Specifics of Mediterranean Diet for Colorectal Health. European Society for Medical Oncology. Jun 2017.
Cockbain AJ, et al. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for the treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer. Gut. 2012 Jan;61(1):135-49.
Chen Z, et al. Dietary patterns and colorectal cancer: results from a Canadian population-based study. Nutr J. 2015 Jan 15;14:8. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-14-8.