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Diet & Cancer Print

Whilst non-dietary factors (e.g. viruses) are thought to account for two-thirds of cancer cases, up to 4 in 10 can be prevented through lifestyle changes the UK NHS (National Health Services) recommends the following to reduce cancer risk:  
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet  
Try to consume a diet containing: 
  • at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day  
  • plenty of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods: choose wholegrain foods where possible, as these contain more fibre  
  • some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein  
  • some milk and dairy foods
  • just a small amount of foods and drinks high in fat or sugars, such as cakes, crisps and biscuits   
  • maintain a healthy weight  
  • stay physically active  
  • drink less alcohol [NO ALCOHOL for Muslims!]
  • stop smoking  
  • protect your skin from sun damage  
  • know your body
Nutritional Links With Cancer
  • Cervical cancer is thought to be linked with smoking and low vitamins B & C levels. Smoking further depletes the body’s reserves of B vitamins. Alcohol can destroy B vitamins such as thiamine and folate.  
  • Diets high in fruit and vegetables are protective against many forms of cancer.  
  • Smoking is not only associated with lung cancer, but also cancers of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, pancreas, bladder and cervix.
  • Smoking and alcohol cause vitamin C depletion, association with oesophagus and larynx cancers. Alcohol obstructs beta carotene absorption.  This has been linked with cancer of the larynx, lung, stomach, large bowel and bladder.  
  • Dietary fibre helps protect against cancers of the colon, prostate, uterus, breast and rectum.
  • Nitrates and nitrites used in salty foods and cured meats form nitrosamines, linked to stomach cancer. A good intake of vitamin C may inhibit the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines.  
  • Cancers of the gall bladder breast and womb is more common in overweight people.  
  • High fat consumption contributes to colon and rectum cancer.
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