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Eating for cancer prevention

One of main the principles of a healthy diet is to eat a wide variety of foods each day. The will help ensure you eat a wider range of nutrients each day to meet your requirements and prevent the likelihood of  too much one particular food.

Rather than worry too much about what you shouldn’t eat, try to base your diet on as wide a range as possible of vegetables and fruits. Try to eat as many different colours of vegetables and fruits each day as the beneficial nutrients found these foods generally vary by colour. The cancer project have produced a Nutrition Rainbow which shows a range of vegetables and fruits according to colour and the beneficial chemical compounds they contain. The Nutrition Rainbow is available online at:


High protein low carbohydrate weight loss diets may be detrimental to bowel health

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in March, 2011 has raised concerns about the long term effect of high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets on bowel health. The study investigated the effect of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate (HP-LC) diet on levels of levels of protective compounds in the gut that are normally associated with a high fibre diet. The HP-LC diet reduced the levels of plant based substances thought to provide protection against colorectal cancer and whereas fecal concentrations of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds were increased.

The authors point out that it would not be possible to quantify an increase in colorectal cancer reisk as this depends on many other factors such as the duration of the diet, and other diet and lifestlyle factors. These results suggest that including high fibre foods in the diet may counteract some of the disadvantagous effects of a HP-LC diet.


Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.002188.


What’s the best diet to follow to reduce my risk of breast cancer?

The World Cancer Research Fund estimate that over 40% of breast cancer cases could be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, following a nutritious, balanced diet based on plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and wholegrain products, minimising alcohol intake and getting some regular exercise.

While there is no particular diet that you can follow to prevent breast cancer, there’s evidence that certain nutrients found in food such as omega-3 fats, calcium and vitamin D could be protective. On the other hand, there’s quite a bit of evidence that certain factors such as being overweight and excess alcohol consumption increase the risk of cancer developing.