Here are 8 tips on how to prevent cancer or if you’ve already had cancer.
Calorie restriction (RC), a diet in which the number of calories is reduced compared to a spontaneous energy consumption, prevents cancer experimentally (in animals), but it is believed that these teachings are valid for humans. For example, CR reduces inflammatory and endocrine markers associated with increased risk of breast cancer in women, and epidemiological studies such as those conducted in Okinawa, Japan, provide additional evidence that CR has beneficial effects on longevity and cancer risk in men.
In addition, when you eat fewer calories, it seems that cancer cells have a harder time multiplying. This was demonstrated in a test tube in 2001 by researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel. When you’re subject to energy restriction, which is the case when you eat just enough calories to stay healthy, normal cells multiply less quickly. But cancer cells, because they need to reproduce quickly, try to do it faster than the energy resources allow, and that’s what makes them die. By eating just what is enough, no more,”concludes the researchers,” we help starve “cancer cells.
The message: eat as much as you want, no more (except under festive circumstances); like in Okinawa, try to get out of the table and still be a little hungry. This advice does not apply to people who have a disturbed relationship with food (anorexic tendencies).
1) Less refined cereal
Most cereal products marketed in our countries raise blood sugar and insulin: they have a high glycemic index and can lead to a high glycemic load. In doing so, they increase the levels of growth factors such as IGF-1, which encourage cells to multiply.
In epidemiological studies, a diet with high glycemic index/glycemic load is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, breast cancer (after menopause), endometrial cancer, pancreatic cancer. The risk of developing other cancers does not appear to be influenced by the GI or GC.
The message: to prefer unprocessed cereal foods prepared with wholemeal flour. To consult the GI and GC of hundreds of foods, our Guide to Glycemic Indexes.
2) Less sugar and products containing it
Sugar can help activate the insulin pathway and raise the level of growth factors such as IGF-1 involved in cancer. Fructose or glucose-fuctose syrup are not good alternatives to sugar because they are also suspected of leading to insulin resistance, which is not desirable either in cancer prevention or diabetes prevention.
The message: reduce the consumption of white sugar in tea, coffee, breakfast cereals, sweets, cakes, biscuits. Limit the soda, juice. To go further, Dr. Robert Lustig’s book, Sugar the bitter truth.
3) Less salt
High salt intake is associated with a higher risk of stomach cancer. This information comes mainly from Japanese and Korean data where large quantities of meat, fish and vegetables are eaten in salt. Salt would damage the stomach walls and cause injury. For other sources of dietary salt, the studies are less telling. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable to reduce all forms of dietary salt.
The message: you reduce salt by eating less deli meats, ready meals, breads, quiches, pizzas, salting dishes that you cook less.
4) Less frying
Frying consists of products from fat degradation (free fatty acids, polar compounds) that add to the body’s toxic load. Most importantly, many fries (frits, chips) contain high levels of acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic substance.
The message: eat fried products only occasionally, limiting cooking times and eliminating charred parts.
5) Less red meat
Excess animal protein stimulates IGF-1 levels. This is not the case with vegetable proteins.
Excess red meat also translates into excess iron in the body, especially in men and also in women over 50 years of age. Excess dietary iron seems to be associated with a higher risk of certain cancers, either because iron is responsible for highly reactive particles called free radicals, or because it is involved in other reactions. For example, if you eat a lot of dietary iron and swallow a large amount of nitrates (polluted water), carcinogenic nitrosamines may appear in the body.
Meat is often eaten after it has been fried, roasted and grilled. This type of cooking at high temperatures gives rise to mutagenic substances, very numerous in roasted and browned parts and in jude-meat: heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Studies have found that animals exposed to these mutagens develop cancers, particularly gastrointestinal cancers. Epidemiological studies have found that people who eat the most grilled, browned, roasted meats are more likely than others to develop colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
The message: no more than 500 grams of red meat per week, as recommended by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
6) Less deli meats
People who frequently consume deli meats, especially cured meats, are at higher risk of digestive tract cancers than people who consume little of them. This is likely due to the presence of nitrite salt in these foods. Nitrites can in certain circumstances give rise to carcinogens, nitrosamines. The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that with an additional 50 grams of deli meats (or salted meat), the equivalent of one sausage or less than two slices of bacon, the risk of colon cancer increases by 18 percent.
The message: for deli meats, we recommend zero to three servings a week in our The Best Way to Eat guide.
7) Less ultra-processed foods
Ultra-processed foods (UTA) contribute to obesity and overweight, thus contributing to the risk of several cancers. Contrary to what is spontaneously believed, TUEs are not limited to traditional junk food such as soft drinks or fries. In reality, TUEs represent 80% of the current supermarket offer, including in the dietary, organic or “vegetarian” sections (most vegetable steaks are TUEs). These foods account for more than a third of the food consumed by the French. According to the researchers, they are the leading cause of early mortality in large cities.