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Plant based diet proved to help in the fight against colorectal cancer

28 January 2015

You are often told that your greens are good for you and as a child that vegetables will help you grow up strong; it has also long been proven that our diet is linked to a number of diseases.  However as if to prove parents everywhere right, a recently published study has lent further weight to the argument that a plant based diet is beneficial to your long term health when compared to a sugary or meat based dietary intake. 

The study, performed by the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and led by Professor Peizhong Peter Wang, discerned a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) across a study age range of 20-76 in those who chose a plant (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) based diet over a high consumption sugary (desserts, sweets, fruit pies and tarts) or high consumption meat based (red meat, processed meat, fish and processed fish) option. The research showed that the study populations with high consumption of meat and high consumption of sugar had an increased risk of CRC by the ratios of 1.84 and 2.26 respectively for the upper intake quintiles when compared with the lowest. Comparatively for the plant based diet the story was somewhat different as the upper intake quintile had a ratio of 0.55 when compared to the lowest intake, showing a reduced risk. This data further serves to highlight the importance of a balanced diet and responsible consumption to reduce health risks.  

The study adds yet more colour to the picture about how closely our diets affect our health in the longer term and just how easily we can reduce risks with minor changes in habits. The protective points of a plant based diet are documented in other areas, especially that of increased vitamin, anthocyanin and fibre intake being a positive, as are the dangers of a high consumption meat or sugar based diet, linked as they are to obesity and its inherent risks. But the demonstration that CRC can be reduced by a plant-based dietary choice, puts further responsibility on us regarding our health.  

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