Healthy Living

Colorectal Cancer: What To Eat And Not Eat

Colorectal cancer affects either the rectum or colon but some people may develop the disease in both areas. It has been considered the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.

The American Cancer Society predicts that the country would see 101,420 new cases of colon cancer and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer in 2019. Among these cases, the organization estimates 51,020 deaths within the year. 

Colorectal cancer commonly affect older people. But younger groups are also at risk due to genetic and lifestyle factors.

Diet is among the major factors contributing to the development of the cancer for young and older individuals. It is important to have better dietary choices to reduce the risk of having the disease and to improve the results of colorectal cancer treatment. 

Healthy Foods vs. Colorectal Cancer

Plant-Based Diet

Researchers from Loma Linda University in California previously found that vegetarian-style diets could help reduce the risk of having colorectal cancer. The team said the plant-based diets, vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and semi-vegetarian, all promoted better health to fight cancer compared to non-vegetarian diets.

Mediterranean Diets 

The combination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and poultry also helps fight the disease. Researchers found that the people who consumed these foods and reduced intake of red meat, alcohol and soft drinks have lower risk of having cancer, Medical News Today reported.  

Purple Potatoes

Among the long list of food that can prevent colorectal cancer, purple potatoes offer a number of benefits. Lab tests showed that these root vegetables provide compounds that could lower levels of pro-inflammatory proteins in the body, which contribute to colon cancer risk.

Foods To Avoid 

Read Meat

Researchers have been warning the public about the bad effects of red meat. Numerous studies warned that high consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

At least 100 grams of all meat or red meat per day could make the risk 12 to 17 percent higher. Researchers explained that meat-based diets commonly lack vegetables, fruit and fiber that could protect the body. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said red meat includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat.

Processed Meat

A study published in 2015 suggested that every 50-gram portion of processed meat each day increases risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Such meat includes bacon and salami that have been marked by WHO as "carcinogenic to humans."

Purple Potato Purple potatoes provide compounds that could lower levels of pro-inflammatory proteins in the body, which contribute to colon cancer. sk/flickr

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