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The Diet Defense Against Cancer

The Diet Defense Against Cancer

A poor diet is linked to cancer risk. Here's what to eat to strengthen your defense against the disease.

A good defense is essential when it comes to your health, and a new study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum lays out just what you can do to defend yourself from cancer: Clean up your plate!

Researchers found that in 2015, a poor diet was responsible for over 52,000 cases of colorectal cancer, 14,400 cases of cancer of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx; 3,165 cases of uterine cancer; 3,050 post-menopausal breast cancer cases; 2,017 cases of kidney cancer, 1,564 of stomach cancer, and 1,000 of liver cancer, in the U.S.

What blows your defenses? If you skip whole grains, fruits, veggies, and (low-fat) dairy and gobble up processed and red meats, you’re losing the game. Add sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity? That’s linked to an increased risk for 13 types of cancer!

So, one more time—you have a lot of control over your health. Your first (but far from last) step is to avoid highly processed and sugar-added foods and beverages; skip red and processed meats; eat seven to nine servings of fruits and veggies and two servings of whole grains daily.

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

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