Closely following US healthy eating guidelines may be an effective way to reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer. A new study of more than 500,000 people found that those who most closely followed the guidelines had a 15 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to those who followed them the least closely.
The beneficial diet included lots of fruits, vegetables and beans, whole grains instead of refined grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy and limited fat and added sugars. The American Cancer Society also recommends limiting how much red meat and processed meats you eat while drinking no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women and two for men.
Previous studies looking into how diet affects pancreatic cancer risk have had mixed results, and it’s too soon to confirm for certain that changing your eating habits could lower your risk. However, research has confirmed that diet plays a role in many other types of cancer, as well as many other chronic diseases, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to make positive changes to the way you eat.
Reducing or eliminating these cancer-causing foods from your daily meals is a good start:
- Processed meats and red meat
- Charred and well-done meat
- French fries and potato chips
- Sugar, including fructose
Increasing these veggie superfoods is also likely to be beneficial:
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables
- Onions, garlic and leeks
- Sweet potatoes
As for pancreatic cancer, in particular, adding herbs and spices such as rosemary and turmeric to your meat before cooking it may help lower the amount of potentially pancreatic cancer-causing substances produced in the meat during cooking.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute