Eating Habits Worst for Colon Cancer, New Study Shows – Eat This Not That

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the most common cancer diagnoses that people living in the United States face themselves, according to In fact, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 106,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in 2022 alone, which tops out at 44,850 new cases of rectal cancer. In addition, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths, which is why you’ll want to avoid the disease if possible. That’s why you’ll be interested to know that a new study has determined the worst eating habits for colon cancer.

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

When the researchers followed up with the participants 25 years later, they found that 1,294 men compared with 1,922 women had been diagnosed with colon cancer. He also found that Men who ate more ultra-processed foods were 29% more likely to develop colon cancer, even when other variables were considered,

“This study is incredibly interesting,” Radhika Smith, MDUniversity of Washington colorectal surgeon at Siteman Cancer Center, tells Eat This, Not That! “This further proves the link between both diet and obesity with colorectal cancer.”

unhealthy breakfast

Dr. Smith explains that ultra-processed foods may affect colon cancer risk because of the harmful, potentially carcinogenic substances found in these foods.

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

Another reason why ultra-processed foods can cause cancer is because they are rich in calories, which can lead to weight gain. “There is a clear association between obesity and colorectal cancer, and a diet high in processed foods can also be excessively high in calories,” says Dr. Smith.

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 and hot-mixed meals had an increased risk of colon cancer, the effect of ultra-processed foods was not the same. Dr. Smith addressed this by saying that “we don’t know much about who gets colorectal cancer and why, so we can only draw so many conclusions on the available data.”

Tips for cutting back on ultra-processed foods

When it comes to examples of popular ultra-processed foods people should avoid, Dr. Smith explains. Eat This, Not That!“In general, I encourage patients to simply avoid foods that have an ingredient list. The more fresh meat dairy and produce you can choose the better.”

“If you’re choosing something that’s been processed, look at that ingredient list and avoid foods that contain anything you can’t pronounce. It’s so simple but it can help you and your family.” A good rule of thumb is to help keep safe,” Dr. Smith says.

Desiree O

Desiree O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food and nutrition news, among other topics. Read more about Desiree

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