How many times have you heard the advice to "eat your veggies" and "get more fiber" in your diet? Probably too many to count. There's a reason you keep hearing this from health experts: For reducing colon cancer risk, this approach works!
As part of the long-running Polyp Prevention Trial, researchers randomly assigned study participants to eat their usual diet, or to switch to a low-fat, high-fiber, high-fruit and vegetable diet. This low-fat diet was designed to provide:
- No more than 20% of total calories from fat
- 18 or more grams of fiber each day
- 5-8 servings of vegetables and fruit each day
The latest findings from the Polyp Prevention Trial demonstrate again why this type of diet is promoted to reduce colon cancer risk: Study participants who regularly met all three of these dietary goals had a 35% reduced risk of developing adenomatous polyps, compared to people eating their regular diet.
In plain speak? In a group of over 2,000 people, all of whom had been screened for colon polyps, been found to have polyps, and had those polyps removed at the start of the study, eating a low-fat, high-fiber, high-fruit and vegetable diet reduced risk of getting polyps again, by 35%. This is so meaningful because adenomatous polyps are the type of growth in the colon that if not removed, can develop into cancer. If you prevent the polyps, you reduce the risk of colon cancer.
That's the power of our everyday choices! To eating well, add getting screened for colon cancer according to your doctor's recommendations, exercising regularly, and not smoking, and you've got the makings of one very effective colon cancer prevention plan!