What you eat has a big impact on your risk of developing cancer.

More about diet and cancer

Eating well is an important part of improving your health, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing your cancer risk. There is a lot of evidence that shows that being overweight or obese is a leading cause of 12 different types of cancer. This study found that 80,110 new cancer cases among adults 20 years and older were caused by eating a poor diet. The good news is that you can do something about this. By changing your diet, you will decrease your risk for developing cancer. For people with diabetes, this is very important because we know that eating a healthy diet is one of the first lines of defense you can do to either prevent or manage diabetes.

What is a poor diet? The researchers agreed that these were the main factors that made up an unhealthy diet: eating very little vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy products and eating a lot of processed meats, red meats, and sugary drinks (like soda, iced tea, and fruit juice). Ultra-processed foods, including pre-made frozen dishes, packaged baked goods, and fast food, now make up 60% of the calories in the average American diet. Of all the different types of cancer, researchers found that colon and rectal cancers were the most common type caused by poor diet at 38.3%. For example, research has shown that eating just one slice of bacon a day is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer.

Ethnic minorities, including blacks and Latinos, had the highest number of diet-related cancer cases compared to other groups. Researchers emphasized that diet is something that is in our control to change and that makes a big difference in our overall health for people with diabetes as well as for those without. To prevent cancer, researchers suggest avoiding ultra-processed foods and eating a healthy diet that is high in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.

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