You are What You Eat
Diet means different things to different people. There are hundreds of different types and kinds of food. Everybody’s normal is different. This makes determining how diet affects cancer risk extremely complicated.
A large review of how lifestyle and diet affect cancer risk was published in 2011 by the EPIC Project. It found that around 10% of cancers may be linked to diet. Over half of these were caused by eating less than the recommended portions of fruit and vegetables
The EPIC Project was designed to investigate any correlations between diet, nutritional status, lifestyle and environmental factors on the incidence of cancer and other chronic diseases. It is the largest study of diet and health ever undertaken, with a total of over half a million participants in ten European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Looking at their results in more detail, in relation to colon cancer it was found that a diet high in fibre reduces colorectal cancer risk. This is in correlation with previous studies. It has been shown that fibre is protective both for the development of abnormal growths and for their malignant transformation. They also found that the consumption of processed meats and alcohol increased colorectal cancer risk, while the intake of fish decreased risk.
For breast cancer they found both estrogens (the hormones that encourage female sex characteristics) and androgens (the hormones that encourage male sex characteristics) increase breast cancer risk, while sex hormone-binding globulin decreases risk after menopause. Also both being overweight and low physical activity are correlated to an increase risk of developing breast cancer.
What is interesting is that they found the opposite hormonal correlations were true for pre-menopausal women, suggesting the body’s ability to regulate itself correctly when not under excess stress.
Another review published in 2011 by Cancer Research UK suggests that about 4 out of 100 cancers are linked to alcohol. Drinking alcohol (even moderately) increases the risk of mouth cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, bowel cancer and throat cancer.
This might all seem like bad news but not all health problems are avoidable. Taking control of your health can near eliminate your risk of cancer.
The idea is simple. Eat plenty of unprocessed foods for your health and for a decreased risk of developing cancer. The Paleo diet ticks these boxes. The Paleolithic diet or the Paleo diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the diet of our ancestors. The diet consists of mostly meat, fish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms and other foods that would have been available to hunter-gather societies in the Paleolithic period.
Following the Paleo diet, with a focus on the foods listed in this article will likely reduce your risk of developing cancer.