A new study suggests the worst eating habit for colon cancer - don't eat this

A new study suggests the worst eating habit for colon cancer – don’t eat this

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the most common cancer diagnoses faced by those living in the United States, according to the Cancer.org. In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 106,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in 2022 alone in addition to 44,850 new cases of rectal cancer. Furthermore, colorectal cancer is among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths, and is one of the reasons why you should want to avoid the disease if possible. It’s also why you’ll be interested to know that a new study identifies the worst eating habits for colon cancer.

In the BMJ In a study published August 31, 2022, researchers looked at three separate studies involving more than 200,000 health care professionals in the United States. About 46,000 of the participants were men while nearly 160,000 were women. Initially, they provided information about their eating habits through a questionnaire every four years, and were asked explicitly how much and how regularly they ate ultra-processed foods.

When the researchers followed up with the participants 25 years later, they found that 1,294 men were diagnosed with colon cancer along with 1,922 women. They also found it Men who ate more ultra-processed foods were 29% more likely to develop colon cancer even when other variables were taken into account.

“This study is incredibly interesting,” Radhika SmithDoctor of Medicinesays a colorectal surgeon at the University of Washington at the Settman Cancer Center Eat this, not that! “It further demonstrates the association of both diet and obesity with colorectal cancer.”

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Dr. Smith explains that ultra-processed foods may affect colon cancer risk due to the harmful, potentially carcinogenic ingredients found in these foods.

“Many of these ultra-processed foods are made with additives and preservatives that are known to be carcinogens,” says Dr. Smith. “Some of these additives have not been directly linked to causing cancer yet, but given the higher risk of colorectal cancer in young patients, we should be concerned about unknown factors in the food we eat.”

Another reason that ultra-processed foods may lead to cancer is that they are calorie-dense, which can lead to weight gain. “There is a clear link between obesity and colorectal cancer, and diets rich in processed foods can also be excessively high in calories,” Dr. Smith adds.

Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Give Up Processed Food

At the same time, while the study found that women who ate more ready-to-eat meals mixed with heat increased their risk of colon cancer, ultra-processed foods didn’t have the same effect. Dr. Smith addresses this by saying “there is a lot we don’t know about who gets colorectal cancer and why, so we can only draw a lot of conclusions about the available data.”

Tips to cut back on ultra-processed foods

Dr. Smith says that when it comes to examples of popular ultra-processed foods people should avoid Eat this, not that!“In general, I encourage patients to avoid foods that have an ingredient list. The more fresh dairy and meat products you make, the better you can choose.”

“If you’re choosing something that has been processed, go through that ingredient list and avoid foods that contain anything you can’t pronounce. It’s very simple but a good rule of thumb to help keep you and your family safe,” says Dr. Smith.

Desiree O

Desirée O is a freelance writer covering lifestyle news, food, and nutrition, among other topics. Read more about Desirée

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