Healthy eating patterns lower colorectal cancer risk

August 7, 2008 in Cancer Prevention, Gastrointestinal Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Healthy eating patterns lower colorectal cancer risk

Following any one of four healthy diets can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in men, according to new research from the National Cancer Institute in Maryland.

In this new report, 492,382 men and women participating in a national diet and health study had their eating habits ranked using the Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Mediterranean Diet Score, and the Recommended Food Score. Scores for each of the four diet patterns were compared to risk of colorectal cancer.

After five years, the researchers found that men who followed any one of the four diet patterns were 25 to 30 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer when compared to their peers who didn't follow any of the healthy eating patterns.

Nutrition researchers say all four diet patterns have something in common - they're all rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats.

Previous studies have shown that overall diet patterns - as opposed to single nutrients - play an important role in preventing colorectal cancer.

According to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, this disease is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. In 2008, an estimated 21,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 8,900 will die from it.

Eating a poor diet that's high in red meat and low in fibre, fruits and vegetables is a risk factor for colorectal cancer.

Want to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer? Read about how you can work one-on-one with Leslie Beck, RD and put some preventive measures in your diet.

This study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.