The Link Between Diet, Chronic Inflammation, and Cancer

The Link Between Diet, Chronic Inflammation, and Cancer

According to experts from Harvard, a healthy diet can significantly help in offsetting diseases by reducing risks linked to obesity, particularly chronic inflammation. They explain that chronic inflammation caused by poor nutritional habits is different from acute inflammation. Alarmingly, chronic inflammation due to an unhealthy diet can lead to insulin-like growth factors that promote cell proliferation, increasing the risk of mutations that lead to cancer.

Understanding the Effects of Poor Diet on Cancer Risks

Harvard experts at the T H Chan School of Public Health have discovered that of the 18 million cancer cases in the U.S., 25 could be prevented by improving nutrition. This highlights the critical role diet plays in disease prevention. They also found that chronic inflammation linked to a poor diet is a significant contributor to cancer, with insulin-like growth factors instructing cells to continue growing.

Nutrition Tips for Lowering Cancer Risk

There are practical steps one can take to lower the risk of cancer through diet. The experts recommend a plant-forward diet, limited caloric intake, and avoiding processed foods as effective ways to decrease the likelihood of developing cancer. Additionally, consuming large quantities of alcohol is linked to various types of cancers and should be limited or avoided altogether.

Supplements and Vitamins: Complements Not Substitutes

There is a common misconception that supplements and vitamins can replace a healthy diet, but this is not the case. These are meant to complement a healthy diet, not replace it. There are dangerous myths about vitamins and minerals being substitutes for chemotherapy and vaccines, which is crucial misinformation to debunk.

The Role of Red Meat in Disease Risks

A Harvard-led study found that eating more red meat is linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes. This study followed the eating habits of nearly 217,000 people for up to 36 years. Participants who regularly consumed the highest amounts of red meat were 53% more likely to develop diabetes. However, those who substituted one serving per day of nuts or legumes for red meat were 30% less likely to develop diabetes. Therefore, limiting red meat consumption and eating plant-based proteins instead can help prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Physical Activity as a Counter to Sedentary Lifestyle

Physical activity is another crucial aspect of a healthy lifestyle. A study suggests that just 22 minutes of brisk walking or similar activity daily may offset the risk of prolonged sitting. People who spent more than 12 hours a day sitting were 38% more likely to die during the study period than people who sat for just eight hours a day. This increased risk of death was only seen in people who got less than 22 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day. Consequently, incorporating physical activity into one’s daily routine is essential for maintaining overall health.

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