Will Becoming a Vegetarian Prevent Cancer?


While we are all aware of the fact that we need to eat all our vegetables every day for good health, is it necessary to become a vegetarian and do vegetarian diets reduce cancer risk?

According to Maria Petzel, a senior clinical dietitian at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network:

There is an overwhelming body of evidence that following a plant-based diet, made up of mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds can reduce the risk of getting cancer.”

However, the evidence is less clear that a vegetarian or vegan diet further reduces risk of cancer over a good plant-based diet and maintaining a healthy weight.”

Petzel cautioned that having the right balance of nutrients is key in making sure you are getting everything you need in a vegetarian diet.

“Vegetarian does not inherently mean healthy. A poorly planned vegetarian – especially vegan – diet can be deficient in essential nutrients such as vitamins B12, B6 and D, as well as iron, calcium and zinc.

Many beverages and foods that count as vegetarian contain large amounts of refined sugar.” (Think soda, flavoured milk, flavoured yoghurt and other foods that may be low in fibre – like white bread, rice and pasta).

Other vegetarian foods may be high in sodium, or cooked in less desirable fats including butter, vegetable shortening, corn oil or vegetable oil. A bean and cheese burrito from a fast food restaurant can have as much sodium and saturated fat as its meat-containing counterpart.”

Bottom Line:

The jury is still out about vegetarian diets as it relates to lowering cancer risk. Petzel recommends following a plant-based diet as guided by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) that includes some vegetarian meals.

A Model Plate for a Cancer Preventive Diet

The New American Plate isn’t a diet or a complex system for calculating calories, fat grams or carbohydrates. It’s a fresh way of looking at what you eat every day. Create meals that lower your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases and manage your weight, at the same time.

Aim for meals made up of 2/3 (or more) vegetables, fruits whole grains or beans and 1/3 (or less) animal protein.

Read more HERE

If you wish to fully follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, seek advice from a registered dietitian to ensure you are getting all of your nutrition needs met.

 

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About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 9 January, 2018, in Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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