Not smoking will lower your risk of many cancers. Getting vaccinated will lower your risk of certain cancers. And eating a healthy diet along with exercising regularly will also lower your risk of certain cancers.
It’s not that confusing.
If you read a widely shared New York Times piece going around this week, you would think that you shouldn’t trust any evidence when it comes to diet and exercise and cancer risk. That’s not true.
It’s not a single study, or even several. It’s looking at the entire body of research, systematically and thoroughly – what we do here at AICR – and what that shows is:
Don’t eat the ice cream. Seriously, don’t eat that smooth, chocolaty ice cream. How much do you want ice cream now?
Many people will try this method of avoiding treats to improve their diet. Another common diet strategy is to eat more healthy foods. We know that maintaining a healthy weight is important for preventing cancer and other chronic diseases. But how effective are these avoid and approach strategies for adopting a better eating pattern?
The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the Mediterranean Diet as one way to eat healthfully. Yet pasta, a common food in this diet, is often seen as packing on the pounds. So scientists in Italy wanted to see if they could tease apart how pasta, as part of the Mediterranean diet, may affect a person’s weight and body shape.
That’s important for cancer risk, because understanding how the food you and your family eat every day affects weight is one important key to lower risk. AICR’s evidence shows that having too much body fat links to higher risk for eleven types of cancer, including colorectal, liver and postmenopausal breast.