NEW ALBANY — Nearly 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. This deadly disease steadily is becoming more common in young adults.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and as a dietitian, I think all consumers should know that simple dietary changes can help lower colorectal cancer risk.
Studies find that diets free of red and processed meats and rich in plant-based foods may significantly reduce colorectal cancer risk. A 2008 study from the Ontario Family Colorectal Cancer Registry found that participants who ate the most red meat had a 67 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer. Some people with specific genes had a much higher risk from meat-eating — up to four times the cancer risk — compared with people who avoid meat.
Research clearly shows that a low-fat vegetarian diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce the incidence of cancer. For recipes and other resources, go to CancerProject.org.
— Joseph Gonzales, R.D., Staff Dietitian, The Cancer Project, Washington, D.C.