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How Diet Relates To Cancer

How Diet Relates to Cancer

Cancer is catastrophic. While some cases of cancer occur seemingly out of the blue in otherwise healthy individuals, studies suggest that lifestyle changes and diet may positively or negatively affect cancer outcomes. 

Nutrition plays an important role in all of our lives, but in cancer patients, the role nutrition plays is much more significant. Certain foods or food types are known to increase cancer risk while others may boost health outcomes. 

Foods That May Increase Cancer Risk

It is difficult to say with complete certainty that any food causes cancer. However, studies have shown a strong link between the consumption of certain foods and the likelihood of developing cancer. 

Sugar and Refined Carbs: Processed foods, in general, are detrimental for your health, but they are also high in sugar and refined carbs, two substances linked to a higher risk of cancer. In particular, a diet that causes glucose levels to spike is related to an increased risk of cancers, including stomach, breast and colorectal cancer. 

Additionally, high insulin levels (caused by high sugar and refined carb intake) increase inflammation throughout the body, potentially leading to the growth of abnormal cells and cancer.

Processed Meat: Processed meat has been treated to preserve its flavor. This process includes salting, curing or smoking the meat and happens in hot dogs, ham, bacon, salami, and some deli meats as well. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers processed meat a carcinogen or a substance that causes cancer. Specifically, the highest risk would be developing colorectal cancer. 

Overcooked or Burnt Food: Heterocyclic amines and advanced glycation end-products are harmful compounds produced while cooking certain foods at high temperatures, such as through grilling, frying or broiling. When cooked just right, these compounds are generally harmless. However, excess buildup of these substances can contribute to inflammation, leading to the growth of abnormal cells. 

Cancer-Fighting Foods

We can’t say that there is one magic superfood out there to prevent cancer, but certain foods do contain cancer-fighting properties. A holistic dietary approach can prove beneficial to many aspects of your life, including fighting and preventing cancer. 

A plant-based diet: Fruits and vegetables contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals that can help prevent and fight cancer. Specifically, fruits and vegetables can help prevent prostate, stomach and lung cancer. Flaxseeds have protective effects against cancer and may prevent cancerous cells from spreading and multiplying. 

A plant-based diet such as a vegetarian or vegan diet can reduce the risk of developing cancer. For those currently fighting cancer, a vegetarian or vegan diet can help your body fight cancer cells, reducing the risk of succumbing to the illness.  

Vegetarians and vegans may have a lower risk of cancer because they eat less processed or overcooked foods – two factors with a link to cancer. 

It is unlikely that diet alone can cure cancer, but at UNIFONTIS, we believe in taking a holistic approach to cancer therapy. We offer three main treatments but utilize supplemental options to give our patients their best fighting chance at defeating their cancer. 

Schedule your consultation with our medical director today by emailing info@unifontis.net

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