Diet & Cancer: The Truth You Don’t Want to Hear
I’m not always thanked for my work on food and health. As yet, no one has been downright horrible to me, but it is there in undertones on social media. A comment on a Facebook post perhaps, a conversation between two people I know, or a tweet sent into the void of twitter.
I think that some people feel I’m trying to ruin their enjoyment of good food (I’m not). Some people don’t believe what I’m saying, others simply don’t want to hear it.
But as another cancer death is announced in the news over the weekend – A.A. Gill, the Sunday Times Food Critic whose column I avidly read – I feel a surge of familiar emotions. Anger first, at cancer in general and at how many lives have been affected by it. Then sadness, for the loss of another life gone too soon. Followed quickly by fear for my loved ones, not just the ones suffering with cancer now, but fear for all of us including our children. Then finally, a sense of commitment and resolve with regards to my work.
I’m sorry that eating too much processed meat, a combination of haem and preservatives, causes cancer.
I’m sorry that alcohol is a carcinogen that damages DNA and the liver.
I’m sorry that eating repeated meals and snacks containing refined sugar and flours puts our bodies on a rollercoaster of hormone surges that promote cancerous growth and diabetes.
I’m sorry that the use of artificial sweeteners has been linked to a rise in certain types of leukaemia and obesity.
The truth is that up to 30% of cancers are caused by lifestyle factors and can be prevented. Scientific studies show us that eating a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats, fish, herbs and spices can help to lower our risk of chronic disease and lifestyle related cancers.
You may not want to believe what I have to say. You may not want to even hear it, because eating less convenience foods takes time and effort.
But these are the facts. Make of them what you will.
To learn more about the cancer progression pathway, the foods that promote cancer and the foods that slow and stop cancerous growth, the short book ‘Food to Fight Cancer: What Your Doctors Aren’t Ready to Tell You‘ is available from The Green Apple Club Shop.