6 Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention

Most of us know the basics of what makes a good or a bad diet and how we have a lot of control over our health. It’s accepted that the chances of getting cancer can be reduced by healthy eating and lifestyle choices. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition has recently published 6 dietary guidelines for cancer prevention.

Fruits and Veg are Essential


Both fruit and vegetables are an essential part of our diet, but it’s incredible how many people avoid them altogether.  It’s recommended that we have a mix of at least 5 portions a day, although it has also been suggested that 8 portions a day is a must.


fruit and veg


This new report says that fruit and veg, particularly leafy greens will help to reduce the risk of developing cancer.  A high intake of vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale can give up to an 18% reduced risk of colorectal cancer, plus they reduce the risk of getting lung and stomach cancers.

Alcohol Should Be Avoided


It’s well known that alcohol isn’t good for you, particularly in larger amounts. Smaller amounts can also have a detrimental effect on the body. Just one drink a week will increase the risk of developing cancer.

Alcohol can be responsible for cancer of the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum and breast. One drink a week can increase the risk by 24% and two or three drinks a day, by 24%. You can read more about alcohol and cancer in our article, 7 types of cancer caused by alcohol. It seems it’s the alcoholic content which is responsible rather than any additives and all types of alcohol are a problem.

Red and Processed Meats are not Good

processed meat

The report says that two slices of bacon or one sausage a day, which is around 50 grams can give a 21% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Any processed meats such as these should be avoided as much as possible.

It hasn’t really been suggested that red meat should be avoided completely, but it can be a factor of developing colorectal cancer. A daily serving of 120 grams or a small steak can increase the risk of developing this type of cancer by 28%. The World Cancer Research Fund has previously recommended eating less than 500 grams of cooked meat each week.

Eat Less Grilled, Fried and Broiled Meat


There are four types of heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) that have been associated with colon and rectum cancer. These HCA’s are formed from creative and amino acids in cooked skeletal muscle. The amount of these increase with longer cooking times and higher temperatures. HCA’s will disrupt DNA synthesis when they are ingested.

Grilled, fried and broiled meat are often overlooked as we’re always being told to cook meat thoroughly so there can be a temptation to overdo it. It’s not only colon and rectum cancer that can be set off by HCA’s, but to a lesser extent there is also a connection with breast, prostate, kidney and pancreas cancers.

Soy Products Are Good for Women


It’s thought these can not only reduce the risk of breast cancer in women, but also lower the risk of it returning and cut down the amount of deaths of women who had been treated for it. The evidence has been gathered from both Asian and Western countries.

Chinese women who had eaten about half a cup of cooked soybeans or 11.3 grams of soy protein each day during their adolescent years did well. They were 43% less at risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer than women who’d had 1.7 grams. Research from Shanghai has shown that women with breast cancer can reduce the chance of death and the cancer returning by 30% when they eat 11 grams of soy protein a day.

Men Should Limit Dairy Products


Calcium is obviously important for our bones and teeth. Plus, there has in the past been a suggestion that calcium may possibly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, but now this new report with the 6 dietary guidelines for cancer prevention suggests dairy products may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

It says that consuming 35 grams of dairy protein each day, which is equivalent to a large cup of cottage cheese, may increase the risk of prostate cancer by 32%. Perhaps even more worryingly, it also says that by drinking two glasses of milk a day increases of developing the disease by 60%. Calcium supplements are also a problem when having more than 400 milligrams a day. They increase the risk of fatal prostate cancer by 51%.

Much research has been carried out which suggests that fruit and vegetables are vital to our health and processed foods are bad for us. The World Health Organization has said that many cancers can be prevented by eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco, being active and limiting alcohol. This is also borne out with these new findings presenting the 6 dietary guidelines for cancer prevention.