There is still some controversy about which foods cause which cancers and whether certain types of fat are the culprits with certain cancers, but there’s one thing we know for sure; raw vegetables and fresh fruits have powerful anti-cancer agents. Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between consumption of these foods and a lower incidence of various cancers, including those of the breast, colon, rectum, lung, stomach, prostate, and pancreas.1 This means that your risk of cancer decreases with an increased intake of fruits and vegetables, and the earlier in life you start eating large amounts of these foods, the more protection you get…Now, if you’re still a non-believer in the power of fruits and vegetables, check out this report in HealthDay News. According to a new study plant fiber and less fat helps prevent ovarian cancer—who would have thought? Read on:
…In rural China where the diets are nearly vegetarian, the average cholesterol levels are low and you see lower cancer rates, not higher. Those with the lowest cholesterol in the China study actually had the lowest cancer rates as well. Obviously, there is a difference between one who has a low cholesterol because his dietary style earns it, and one whose cholesterol seems unjustifiably low on a modern heart-disease-promoting diet that almost everyone in the west eats…
…Worldwide, there is a linear relationship between higher-fat animal products, saturated fat intake, and breast cancer.2 However, there are areas of the world even today where populations eat predominantly unrefined plant foods in childhood and breast cancer is simply unheard of. Rates of breast cancer deaths (in the 50-to-70 age range) range widely from 3.4 per 100,000 in Gambia to 10 per 100,000 in rural China, 20 per 100,000 in India, 90 per 100,000 in the United States, and 120 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.3
On average, the women had managed to add one serving of fruits or vegetables to their daily diet by end of the six-year follow-up. They had also reduced their daily fat consumption by about 8 percent.Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. Fruits and veggies taste great, and, they’re great for you! Kind of win-win—know what I mean?
The findings support "the idea that lifestyle changes can be made with intensive help," said Dr. Robert Morgan, section head of medical gynecologic oncology, City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif. He was not involved in the study.
Morgan noted that many of his patients ask him about ways they can reduce their cancer risk through diet and exercise. But he said he's found that "it's difficult to change habits, especially if they are longstanding."
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cancer killer of women. Some 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with the disease every year, and about 15,000 women will die from it during the same time frame.
1. Franceschi, S., M. Parpinel, C. La Vecchia, et al. 1998. Role of different types of vegetables and fruit in the prevention of cancer of the colon, rectum and breast. Epidmiology 9 (3): 338-41; Van Den Brandy, P.A. 1999. Nutrition and cancer: causative, protective, and therapeutic aspects. Ned. Tijdschr. Genneskd. 143 (27): 1414-20; Fraser, G.E. 1999. Association between diet and cancer, ischemic heart disease, and all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic white California Seventh-Day Adventists. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. (3S): 532-38S.
2. Carroll KK. Experimental evidence of dietary factors and hormone development cancers. Cancer Res 1975;35:3374.
3. McPherson K, Steel CM, Dixon JM. ABC of Breast Disease, Breast cancer—epidemiology, risk factors, and genetics. BMJ 2000;312:624-628. WHO mortality database at WHO Statistical Information System (WHOSIS).