Can You Reduce Your Colorectal Cancer Risk with Diet and Lifestyle Changes?

According to a new report by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, upping your whole grain and fiber intake while reducing how much red and processed meat you eat could decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Healthy Eating and Exercise

Diet, Weight, and Alcohol Factor into Colorectal Cancer Risk 

For the report, researchers reviewed recent, comprehensive studies examining diet and lifestyle factors that could increase or decrease your risk of developing colorectal cancer.

They found that the following behaviors may reduce your risk:

  • Eating whole grains, such as oatmeal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread
  • Consuming fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and peas
  • Taking calcium supplements and consuming milk and dairy products

Researchers found that you may be more likely to develop colorectal cancer if you are overweight or obese. Drinking two or more alcoholic drinks per day also raises your risk.

Eating processed meat, such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausage, or red meat, like beef, pork, and lamb, is also associated with a higher risk for colorectal cancer. The study found that the more of these meats people ate, the more likely they were to be diagnosed with cancer.

Exercise Is Crucial, Too

Researchers also noted the importance of regular physical activity for protecting against colon cancer. They found that the most active people were about 16 percent less likely to develop colon cancer compared with those who were the least active.

Check out WCHN’s wellness page for more healthy lifestyle changes.