Swing into the drive-thru for a quick lunch while chatting on the phone to your boss… A snack from the vending machine… A frozen ‘meal’ before collapsing into bed at night… Grab and go, and get some cancer too. OK, it’s not as quick as that but what we eat directly affects our chances of developing cancer and processed and fast foods are the main culprits.
Seven dietary factors
In 2015 just over 5% of new cancer cases among adults in the United States were attributable to eating a poor diet. That’s about the same as are accredited to alcohol.
The study looked at seven dietary factors: a low intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products and also high intake of processed meats, red meats, and sugary beverages, such as soda.
In the United States, low whole-grain consumption was #1 when it came to being associated with the largest new cancer burden.
This was followed by
2) low dairy intake,
3) high processed-meat intake,
4) low vegetable
5) fruit intake,
6) high red-meat intake, and
7) high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
Colon and rectal cancers had the most diet-related cancer cases, at 38.3%.
Junk food is bad for you, we all know that; delicious, though! Eating junk food increases risk of heart disease and now we have quantified just how much eating a diet high in junk and processed foods will increase our risk of getting cancer.
You can modify your diet! You can choose what foods you eat and you can actively protect yourself from cancer by avoiding processed and junk foods and switching to organic, whole foods. Those who ate mostly organic foods had significantly less incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and postmenopausal breast cancers.
Hungry? Need something right now? Have an apple! It’s filling, nutritious – and fast. Your heart will thank you.
Dr. James Kneller treats atrial fibrillation, arrhythmia, and other heart conditions. He is an internationally recognized authority on cardiovascular health and personal development.
Fang Fang Zhang, Frederick Cudhea, Zhilei Shan, Dominique S Michaud, Fumiaki Imamura, Heesun Eom, Mengyuan Ruan, Colin D Rehm, Junxiu Liu, Mengxi Du, David Kim, Lauren Lizewski, Parke Wilde, Dariush Mozaffarian, Preventable Cancer Burden Associated with Poor Diet in the United States. (2019). JNCI Cancer Spectrum, pkz034.
Schnabel, L., Kesse-Guyot, E., Allés, B., Touvier, M., Srour, B., Hercberg, S., Buscail, C., Chantal, J. Association Between Ultraprocessed Food Consumption and Risk of Mortality Among Middle-aged Adults in France. (2019). JAMA Intern Med 179(4):490-498.