There are a lot of resources being invested into cancer prevention and treatment programs. What if the answer to the cure for cancer was as simple as what you stick your fork into? How would that change your view of what you choose to eat on a daily basis? This article will address the importance of your diet to help you take a significant step towards reducing your risk for cancer and improving your overall health.
On October 31, 2007 ABC News broadcasted a special segment on their Good Morning America (GMA) program that dealt with diet, weight, alcohol, red meat consumption, and the risk for cancer. Additionally, the GMA website also provided additional information regarding cancer prevention. The following is a direct quote from the GMA website:
“After five years of reviewing 7,000 medical studies, a team of top scientists from around the world has concluded that diet and weight directly affect whether you’ll get cancer.
“The researchers cite ‘convincing’ evidence that excess body fat can cause six different types of common cancers, including those affecting the breast, bowel, and pancreas.
“The research, which also links consumption of alcohol, red meat, and processed meat to an increased risk of cancer, has spurred debate among nutrition experts over whether the conclusions of the report are particularly earth-shattering.”
The information presented by GMA examined the potential link between diet and cancer. However, they missed a critical factor in both cancer prevention and how well you age. It is a connection that is rarely talked about in the general media but is critically important in your overall wellness and cancer prevention.
When you examine the contents of this special health segment from ABC News one of the primary observations is:
What you eat and how you pack on the pounds will have an affect on your risk for cancer. According to Colleen Doyle, director of Nutrition and Physical Activity for the American Cancer Society (ACS):
“In a survey we did last year, over 80 percent of respondents connected excess weight to heart disease risk, over 57 percent connected it to diabetes, but less than 10 percent connected being overweight to cancer risk. With the science so strong on this issue, the trends on weight so bad, and the awareness that what you weigh impacts cancer risk so low. This is an important message - - that people do indeed have some control over developing many types of cancer.”
There are two key points that you need to take away from the above quote.
Key #1 – Although people connect excess weight with heart disease and diabetes, few connect it to cancer prevention.
Key #2 – You have some control over developing many types of cancer.
In fact, you have more control than you realize! Your body produces new cells every day. You replace about 1% of your cells each day. That means 1% of your body is brand-new today, and you will get another 1% tomorrow. You choose whether those new cells will be nourished properly or poorly. You choose whether you will have healthy and vibrant cells that act young. Or, sickly and sedentary cells that act old. It is called The 1% Solution! It has a tremendous impact on your health and cancer prevention.
The study that is being referred to by ABC News and GMA is the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Expert Report entitled:
Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer:
a Global Perspective
You can find this comprehensive and fascinating 517 page report by going to www.dietandcancerreport.org where it is stored in a PDF file for viewing. There is a wealth of information contained in this report. Here are two important items:
Item #1 – Deaths from Cancer. According to this report 11 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year and 7 million people will die from cancer every year. It is projected that by 2030 these figures will double with the rate of cancer increasing faster than the rate of the general increase in population.
Item #2 – Cause of Cancer. According to this report “5 to 10% of cancers result directly from inheriting genes associated with cancer.” This means that nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors account for the remaining 90 to 95% of cancers.
We keep spending millions of dollars every year on finding the cure to cancer when the most important cure is staring us in the face. It is prevention!
That’s not saying that finding ways to treat cancer and help people who have cancer effectively fight the disease is not important. What I am saying is that if resources were invested in helping people prevent cancer they would have a greater impact on reducing the effects of this disease. Think about it. If 90% of cancers are nutrition, lifestyle and environmentally induced, then what would happen if people made the necessary changes to remove these factors from the equation? Even if you were only 50% successful, the 11 million people diagnosed with cancer every year would drop to approximately 5 million. The 7 million who annually die from cancer would drop to approximately 3 million. That’s significant!
The report from the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research makes the following 10 recommendations for cancer prevention:
Contained in these 10 recommendations is an important key that goes unnoticed by most of the news media and health profession especially as it relates to cancer prevention. This key is directly found in 4 of the 10 recommendations and indirectly found in 1 of the 10 recommendations. What is this key?
If fact, some would consider your body’s pH the single most important item to pay attention to for both optimal health and the prevention of diseases like cancer. Although some organs and organ fluids (like the gastric region) have a higher or lower pH than what is normal for the body, your body functions best when the pH of the internal biochemical environment (your blood, lymph and intracellular fluids) is between 7.365 and 7.390. If you understand the pH scale, then you can see that the body likes to keep itself slightly alkaline and in a very narrow range.
Anything outside this range causes stress on the body. The farther outside this range, then the stress on the body goes up exponentially. Although a person may occasionally have alkalosis (a reading higher than 7.390), most people lean toward acidosis because of the food they eat.
When food is metabolized or “burned” in our body it leaves an “ash”. This food ash will be neutral, acidic, or alkaline depending largely on the leftover mineral composition of the food. Although the following list is not complete, it will give you a general idea of which foods leave behind an acidic or alkaline environment:
When you examine the recommendations made by this cancer study you see that 3 recommendations are to avoid acidic producing foods (eliminate or reduce energy-dense foods, sugary drinks, red meat, processed meat and alcohol) and 1 recommendation is to increase alkaline producing foods (eat mostly foods of plant origin).
The study’s 1st recommendation for cancer prevention is to limit body fat which is directly related to diet. Most overweight and obese people didn’t get that way by consuming too many fruits and vegetables. Instead, the standard American diet of animal protein with a refined grain product washed down with a beer or dark cola creates a greater chance for being overweight and leads to an extremely acidic environment.
This ABC News and GMA feature, as well as the comprehensive report on cancer prevention, exposes a critical factor in both disease prevention and how well you age. It is your body’s pH. The more acidic your body becomes the greater the opportunity for all types of diseases to take hold. The more you help your body maintain its natural alkaline state, the greater your body’s ability to fight disease and remain healthy.
You have the power of choice! You have the ability to choose the food and lifestyle that will help your body prevent disease, improve your overall health, and slow down the aging process. Most importantly, cancer prevention is directly related to your dietary choices. Choose wisely!
Until next time, may we both age youthfully!
P.S. As a convenience, I’ve also included links to the following cancer articles:
The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.