Sunday, February 6, 2011

Eating to Prevent Colon Cancer


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S. While a diagnosis of cancer can be devastating, there are some things that you can do to lower your risk of developing colon cancer.

Obesity, Waist Size and Colon Cancer

A number of studies show that being overweight and/or having a large waist size is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. Therefore, if you are overweight or obese, one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk is to lose weight.

What to Eat

Making healthy food choices on a daily basis is critical. Your digestive tract needs fiber along with vitamins, minerals and other plant compounds to function properly. However, if you are like most Americans, you may not be getting the fiber you need. You could be coming up short on a wide range of other nutrients, as well. 

Without these dietary essentials, your risk of developing colon cancer may be increased. So pay attention to what’s on your plant and make sure that you are eating foods that can protect against cancer rather than increase your risk.

Dietary Fiber

Eat foods that are high in fiber. That means fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables not only provide a large amount of fiber; they are also loaded with antioxidant vitamins and minerals, plus other phytonutrients that may help to prevent cancer.

Whole Grains

Whole grain breads and cereals can help to boost your fiber intake, which is necessary for a healthy digestive tract and colon health.

Dietary Fat

A diet high in fat, particularly animal fat, has been linked to increased risk for colon cancer. Health experts recommend limiting these types of fats in your diet. Choose healthy omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats from fish, nuts and seeds instead.


For a personalized nutrition consultation, talk to a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians are the healthcare professionals most qualified by training and experience to assist you in making the right food choices for your condition. Find a registered dietitian by visiting the American Dietetic Association website at