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With this diet, men can prevent colon cancer

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The risk of developing colon cancer is many times higher for men than for women. According to statistics from the Robert Koch Institute, colon cancer is the third most common cancer. However, a new study shows that there is something that can be done to effectively reduce this risk. How? Quite simply: through the right diet.

Study: Prevent colon cancer with a plant-based diet

It has long been known that too much fat, red meat and too little fiber from fruit and vegetables can promote colon cancer. Along with smoking, an unhealthy diet is one of the most important risk factors for cancer. But that can be changed by changing your diet. A plant-based diet with lots of vegetables, whole grain products and legumes is said to reduce the risk of illness. At the end of 2022, a study by Kyung Hee University in South Korea examined how big this connection really is.

So love the Study ab

The study not only looked at men, but also looked at ethical differences around cancer. To this end, 79,952 men and 93,475 women took part in the study, which recorded diets and incidences of colon cancer over 19 years. In order to determine a connection, the frequency of colon cancer cases was compared with different diets. The plant-based diet was divided into three subcategories: general, healthy and unhealthy.

Fundamental to the survey of diet was the division into healthy and unhealthy plant-based diets. Just because you avoid animal products doesn't mean you're suddenly eating healthy. To differentiate, the researchers divided plant-based foods into categories based on the nutrients they contained.

  • To a unhealthy plant-based diet These included products made from white flour, refined sugar and all foods in which it was added, fruit juices, but also potatoes.
  • If healthy plant-based diet Whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, nuts and high-quality oils as well as coffee and tea were defined.

Results: Men can reduce their risk of colon cancer by 22 percent

While no connection was found between diet and the occurrence of colon cancer in women, the situation was different for men. Diet seems to be a significant influencing factor here – also because the risk of developing colon cancer is significantly higher in men than in women. According to the study, whole grains, lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts and fiber-rich foods should be on your plate. Not meat and sausage products. Men who ate the same diet and followed a healthy, plant-based diet had a 22 percent lower risk of developing colon cancer.

When the foods were analyzed more closely, whole grain products and vegetables in particular were associated with a lower risk of colon cancer, while high consumption of refined sugar led to a higher risk. The diet should not only be plant-based, but healthy. More precisely, this means: whole grain instead of white flour, less sugar and sugary foods and enough vegetables.

Do you finally want to eat healthier, but don't know exactly how? You can have an individual nutrition plan drawn up for you using our Men's Health nutrition coaching. Simply enter your goal, your preferences, allergies etc. (we even take your cooking skills and shopping habits into account) and get your clean eating plan on your mobile phone or as a PDF.

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Healthy carbs and protein sources – there are also purely plant-based ones

It's no secret that fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and high-quality fats are healthy. It's not just the vitamins that count, but above all the fiber and antioxidants it contains, such as polyphenols and carotenoids. At least that's what Jihye Kim, one of the authors of the study, suspects. These food components are said to have a number of health-promoting effects that have a positive effect on intestinal health and can therefore reduce the risk of developing colon cancer:

  • They have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • They can suppress chronic inflammation that can cause colon cancer.
  • They have a positive effect on the intestinal microbiome and thus strengthen the immune system.

Can you do the study? trust?

There is a big plus point for the duration of the study. At over 19 years old, it covers an extremely long period of time. The high number of study participants is also remarkable and therefore very meaningful.

The biggest shortcoming of the study is that the effects of animal foods were not taken into account or differentiated. It could well be that certain dairy products, special types of meat or fish also have a positive effect on the risk of colon cancer. However, this was not raised.

Conclusion: This is how you can prevent colon cancer

Diet can change a lot – and not just when it comes to your sporting goals. When it comes to health and cancer prevention, it can become a decisive factor. A plant-based diet with enough vegetables, whole grain products, fruit and healthy fat sources is definitely a good choice. Even if you don't want to give up meat or fish completely, this is a perfect basis to support your health and well-being. Try being “flexitarian” (a new word created from “flexible” and “vegetarian”) and reduce your meat consumption by introducing veggie days more and more often in the week.

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