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Cancer Dietitian Reveals 13 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer

Cancer Dietitian Reveals 13 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Colon Cancer

Lucky 13?

Nichole Andrews, a Washington-based oncology dietitian and author, shares 13 things you can do to reduce your risk of colon cancer.

As The Post reported, the increase in colorectal cancer diagnoses among people in their 20s and 30s is worrying health experts.

“As a cancer dietitian, I want to educate you about the things that increase your risk of colon cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk of colon cancer,” Andrews said in an eight-minute TikTok this week that has been viewed more than 18,000 times.

She advises quitting drinking, avoiding processed meat, following a high-fiber diet, exercising more, playing sports regularly, limiting red meat consumption, eating whole grains, emphasizing plant-based foods, quitting smoking, getting tested regularly, reducing fat tissue, consuming more dairy, and focusing on healthy gut flora.

1. Stop drinking

Reduce your risk of colon cancer by not drinking alcohol. New Africa – stock.adobe.com

Andrews’ main suggestion is to cut the sauce. “The first thing you want to do is cut out the alcohol. Alcohol increases your risk of colon cancer,” she said.

Alcohol increases the risk of cancer because the body does not digest it, but breaks it down into a chemical called acetaldehyde. This chemical damages DNA and prevents the body from repairing itself.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that all alcoholic beverages, including red and white wine, beer and hard liquor, have been linked to cancer. The more you drink, the higher your risk of cancer.

2. Stop eating processed meat

Processed meat is considered carcinogenic. Pixel-Shot – stock.adobe.com

Number 2 on the chopping block, or in the deli case, are processed meats.

Andrews explains, “Any processed meat consumption increases your risk of colorectal cancer, especially those red, processed meats, like sausages, things that are considered red meat like beef, pork or lamb, pepperoni on pizza, everyday meats for your sandwiches. Removing processed meats from your lifestyle, including hot dogs, will help reduce your risk of cancer.”

Other experts agree. In 2015, the World Health Organization named processed meat a carcinogen.

3. Follow a high-fiber diet

Andrews recommends 30 grams of fiber per day. bondarillia – stock.adobe.com

Andrews explains that consuming 30 grams of fiber per day helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. She recommends people get their fiber from plant sources, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

“We need to focus on adding these plant foods to every meal,” she said. “They help you get that 30 grams of fiber a day.”

4. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise reduces the risk of many types of cancer, including colon cancer. NDABCREATIVITY – stock.adobe.com

Andrews emphasizes that regular exercise is essential to lowering the risk of colon cancer. She recommends 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, a recommendation echoed by the World Health Organization.

Moderate intensity refers to the ability to talk but not sing while exercising. High intensity refers to the inability to hold a conversation.

5. Move more, sit less

Doing housework is a great way to exercise and burn calories. Getty Images

In addition to achieving moderate or intense exercise minutes per week, Andrews emphasizes the importance of physical activity throughout the day.

“I want you to move — use your body, move, do things with your family, do things with yourself, go for walks, do things around the house. Moving more and sitting less will reduce your risk of colon cancer,” she said.

6. Limit red meat

Red meat should be kept to a minimum. Getty Images

Red meat is a warning sign when it comes to cancer risk.

While red meat is rich in nutrients, it also contains heme iron, which can promote the production of potentially carcinogenic substances.

According to Andrews, moderation is the name of the game. She says that 18 ounces, or 500 grams, of red meat per week is generally OK. “You just don’t want to go over that 18 ounces — that increases your risk of colorectal cancer,” she explained.

She also strongly cautions against the carnivore diet: “It’s a very low-fiber diet. It’s loaded with processed meat, especially red meat. That increases your risk of colon cancer by 100%.”

7. Choose whole grains

Whole grains offer many health benefits. nehopelon – stock.adobe.com

Andrews says you should go for the whole kind when it comes to grains. “You name it, there’s a whole grain option, and you should go for it. It’s got more fiber, more nutrients, and probably more protein. It’s a better choice,” she said.

8. Emphasize plant-based foods

Plant foods are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. alicja neumiler – stock.adobe.com

Plant foods not only add fiber to your diet, they are also rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are known to fight cancer.

“If you eat an orange, nuts or whole grains, you’re lowering your risk of cancer,” she said. “You’re protecting cells from free radicals and you’re helping cells repair and get back to normal and not become cancerous. It’s amazing.”

9. Stop smoking

Smoking, especially in combination with drinking, significantly increases the risk of colon cancer. mitarart – stock.adobe.com

Andrews emphasizes that if you want to reduce your risk of colon cancer, you should quit smoking, especially if you smoke And drinks.

“If you smoke, you increase your risk of many different types of cancer,” she said. “You increase your risk of cancer if you combine alcohol and smoking. We definitely don’t want to do that together.”

10. Get screened for cancer

Human colon cancer cells with red-stained nuclei. AP

Andrews recommends regular screenings. Screenings for colorectal cancer typically begin at age 45, but people with symptoms and those with a family history may be eligible earlier.

“Everyone is a little different, but you should check in with your doctor and get screened,” she said. “That’s a great way to find things when they’re there so you can make them go away.”

11. Reduce body fat tissue

Obesity is one of the reasons for the increase in the number of new cancer cases. 9nong – stock.adobe.com

Andrews explains that a large amount of body fat tissue increases the risk of colon cancer.

To combat this fat and lower your risk, she suggests, “more plant foods, more fiber, more exercise, more movement — all of these things will help you lower that body fat.”

12. Embrace dairy

TVA is found in dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, milk and butter. Vika – stock.adobe.com

Andrews says calcium is essential for colon health. Her suggestion to eat dairy is supported by a recent study suggesting that dairy products may help the immune system fight tumors.

According to the Post, the compound trans-vaccenic acid, or TVA, found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and yogurt, activates T cells. These cells help the immune system fight germs and protect against disease.

13. Improve gut health

Healthy intestinal flora reduces the risk of colon cancer. iStock photo

Andrews says good gut health is key to preventing colon cancer. She urges people with GI issues to seek treatment and advises everyone to prioritize fiber, pro- and prebiotic foods, hydration and adequate sleep.

“What does that do? It makes for consistent bowel movements. You shouldn’t be chronically constipated,” she said. “It shouldn’t be really hard for you to pass a bowel movement. To reduce colon cancer, you need to take better care of your gut health.”