12.5 C
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
HomeCanadaDiet is important in the prevention of cancer, and also in its...

Diet is important in the prevention of cancer, and also in its prognosis


Millions of people are diagnosed with cancer each year. It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. This is why the prevention and treatment of the disease are essential.

Thus, a good diet, an active lifestyle, stopping smoking or reducing alcohol consumption are factors that reduce the risk of developing cancer and improve its prognosis.

A healthy diet is of great importance for the prevention of many types of cancer. However, there are no miracle foods that cure or prevent cancer or ingredients that directly cause it: it is our eating habits as a whole that reduce or increase the likelihood of developing the disease.

In this article, you will find that, in general, the expressions used to make recommendations on diet and cancer are conditional. The words “seems” or “could” are repeated over and over again. This is because more research is needed to confirm these results and know the true impact of diet.

Some ways to develop an anti-cancer menu

First of all, it is important to maintain a healthy weight :

being overweight is associated with an increased risk of cancer of the thyroid, esophagus, liver, gall bladder, colon, kidneys, breast, endometrium or prostate. Excess fat also seems to promote the formation of metastases, as with lung cancer.

certain foods help prevent itespecially those rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains). The frequent presence of these foods on the menu is also associated with a lower risk of obesity.

In more detail, eating fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of developing several types of cancer, such as mouth and esophageal cancer, while whole-grain cereals may help prevent colorectal cancer. Besides fiber, these foods contain antioxidants that can also protect the body.

Furthermore, it is advisable to limiting the consumption of low-quality, high-fat foods (saturated and trans fats), starches and sugar. This is the case of ultra-processed foods (energy drinks, industrial pizzas, fries, etc.) and red and processed meats (sausages, sausages, etc.), which are associated with an increased risk of cancer, in particular colorectal .

Regarding the different types of diets, the one that is unanimous for its benefits is the mediterranean dietwhich appears to reduce the risk of developing breast or colon cancer. It is characterized by the use of virgin olive oil as the main source of fat, a high consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals, nuts and legumes, a moderate consumption of fish and dairy products and low consumption of red or processed meat.

Read more: The Mediterranean diet improves gut health and helps you age better

In contrast, a diet with a high intake of red and processed meat, sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, and ultra-processed foods increase the likelihood of developing certain cancers.

The Mediterranean diet appears to reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
Antonina Vlasova/Shutterstock

The diet does not cure, but it improves the patient’s quality of life

A balanced diet would therefore reduce the risk of developing cancer. Once the disease appearsit can, in combination with appropriate medical treatment, contribute to improving the patient’s prognosis and quality of life. In addition, it can help alleviate some side effects of treatments and reduce the risk of infections.

It is common for cancer patients to suffer from malnutrition due to the treatments and the course of the disease itself. However, it is very important to meet the energy needs and especially the protein needs of patients, in order to improve their prognosis.

Proteins help repair tissues that, in cancer patients, can be severely damaged by surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Eggs, dairy products, fish, poultry and legumes are good sources of protein.

These repair processes also require a surplus of energy. When the necessary intake cannot be reached, for example due to lack of appetite, the diet should include energy-dense foods, such as dried fruits or smoothies. Whole grains can even be substituted for refined grains because of their fiber.

The diet must therefore be adapted to the individual, his needs and his condition. In patients with nausea and vomiting, cold, light foods such as cold fruit purées, yogurts, or pasta or rice salads are generally well tolerated. If the patient has difficulty swallowing, it may be helpful to puree the food and add thickeners and gelling agents to improve the texture.

Finally, it should be remembered that although food does not cure cancer, it improves its prognosis and contributes to its prevention, so that investment in research must be a priority.

The author of what'snew2day.com is dedicated to keeping you up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Latest stories