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Skip Ultra Processed Foods and Eat Whole Plants to Fight Cancer

Sharon Palmer

More research shows that eating highly processed foods increases the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer. These foods are often stripped of nutrients, and provide concentrated sources of energy, fat, sodium, and sugars, while omitting essential health-protective nutrients, like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The category of ultra-processed foods—sugary drinks, sugary products, fats, and sauces that include many ingredients, and tend to be high in fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt—may particularly increase cancer risk, according to researchers. Among nearly 105,000 study participants, 2,228 of whom were diagnosed with cancer during the five-year follow-up, a 10 percent increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods consumed was associated with a 12 percent higher overall cancer risk. Eating highly processed foods regularly was linked to an 11 percent increase in breast cancer risk. Research shows that Americans get 61 percent of their calories from highly processed foods. The study is a reminder to power up on whole plant foods as the bulk of your diet to fight disease.

 The BMJ, February 2018

Read the full study   here.

For more studies on plant-based diets and health, check out the following:

US Falls Short on Fruits and Vegetables
Fight Hypertension with Plant-Based Lifestyle
Fighting the Cancer-Obesity Link with Plants

Image:  Sage Lentils with Squash and Mushrooms, Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

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