If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a beer of an evening and tucking into a delicious bacon sandwich, you could unknowingly be increasing your risk of cancer.
Cutting bacon and other processed meats out of your diet, as well as reducing your intake of alcoholic beverages, could reduce cancer risks by 40 per cent, according to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) guidelines. The study, updated once every 10 years, based its research on more than 51 million people around the globe. It marks the most comprehensive cancer analysis to date, particularly when it comes to what causes the disease.
According to the research, being overweight is linked to at least 12 different cancers, more than twice in the assessment released last decade. These cancers impacted organs including the breasts, kidneys, liver, ovaries, stomach, mouth and throat, just to name a few. It is predicted that obesity will overtake smoking as the biggest cancer risk within a few years.
The findings are expected to be presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna, Austria, which already predicted that 22 per cent of the world’s population would be obese by 2045.
In addition to cutting bacon and alcohol, WCRF recommends people switch sugary drinks such as soft drinks with water and other unsweetened beverages. It also encouraged people to reduce consumption of fatty and sugary fast foods, as the number of new cancer diagnoses is expected to jump to 24 million by 2035. The increase of 58 per cent is being blamed on more countries around the world adopting “Western” lifestyles. At present, 40 per cent of cancers are thought to be preventable.
The WCRF suggested a total of 10-point plan to avoid getting cancer. It said being a healthy weight and keeping your weight within the healthy range by avoiding weight gain was important, while physical activity should be implemented as a regular life. Countries around the world have already started taking note. Public Health England recently launched strict new guidelines for the nation when it comes to sugars and fats in foods, with big brands being forced to reduce sugar and fat content on popular foods to avoid a sugar tax.
While fast foods and processed snacks high in fat, starches and sugar should be limited, people are encouraged to eat more wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and beans as part of a regular cancer-preventing diet. It’s also important not to rely on supplements and nutritional needs should be met through diet alone where possible.
Red and processed meats should only be eaten in moderation, meaning people should restrict their intake of pork, beef and lamb and bacon where possible. As mentioned above, water is the recommended drink of choice and sweetened drinks should only be consumed on rare occasions. For cancer prevention, the WCRF also said to avoid alcohol completely.
It also encouraged mothers to breastfeed babies and for people to follow all the recommendations listed as part of the report – even after a cancer diagnosis. It also said that smoking and avoiding exposure to tobacco and the sun is important in reducing the risk of cancer.