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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diet and Cancer Risk- Importance of Realizing the Impact of Food put into our Bodies

Diets high in fat have been linked to increased risk of various cancers, particularly breast, colon, prostate, and possibly pancreas, ovary, and endometrium (USDHHS, 1988; National Research Council, 1989). Although it is hard to put a numerical value on diet contributing to cancer risk, it has been estimated that 35 percent of cancer deaths may be related to dietary factors (Doll and Peto, 1981) while at the same time most cancers are considered entirely preventable by most leading experts.  We need to realize that the food we eat on a daily basis has an important affect on our survival and well being in the future. We don’t need to stop eating the fatty foods we love completely, but we do need to stop this mindset in America that the only option is eating foods high in fat and sugar content. Unfortunately, eating plant foods is much more expensive than eating meat and foods high in sugar. At McDonald's, I can get a McDouble for one dollar but getting a small salad costs up to 4. However, it’s absolutely necessary for us to change our mentality regarding diet. In this excellent video by Michael Pollen which you can find on the bottom of this blog, he highlights the importance of maintainging a green diet and consuming less calories. In the next paragraph I discuss some of the interesting parts of the video but I highly recommend everyone to watch it.
First off, 1/3 of all fossil fuels come from producing the food we eat and the highest source of production of these fossil fuels comes from the meat industry. Not only that, according to Pollen and most leading researchers, with the rate of obesity in the American diet, children born in the year 2000 will be amongst the first generation that lives less than their parents due to the amount of people developing preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cancer. So, after all this bad news, what can we do to bring about a change. Pollen gives his input which I think is absolutely valid. We need to start shopping local farmers market, eating less food, taking in more plants in our diet, and focusing on quality versus the quantity of food. Also, an excellent way to make cheaper food is to plant a garden. This can provide people with an inexpensive way to produce vegetables right from their house or apartment while helping the ecosystem at the same time. High fat diets have been shown to damage the systems of our body necessary to fight off the hundreds of mutations that form on a daily basis. If these mutations aren't fixed they eventually lead to the formation of cancerous tumors.  As a result, eating high fat diets full of sugar from an early age have been correlated to much higher risks of developing cancer in the future. 
I hope you have learned something substantial and will make a change on your diet to allow for a better chance of avoiding disease in the future.  For some, this may involve baby steps at first, but eventually, with hard work, you will get to the point of feeling healthy and being happier with your conscious eating habits. In America, by fighting the system, you can bring about change. Let's start a new revolution in the way we eat and allow ourselves to reach our full potential.

PopTech 2009: Michael Pollan from PopTech on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

I think 35% is a drastically low number that food relates to cancer and here is why: Maybe 35% of cancer is directly because we eat certain types of food, but the food we eat has a direct effect on our body's ability to kill cancer cells and flush them out. Yes, it's a daily process like you say. So if eating the wrong foods directly relates to cancer formation, eating the wrong cells indirectly causes cancer because it allows it to take over unnecessarily. Kind of like saying it's your fault if you tell your neighbor, "hey come over and rob my house!" BUT it's somehow not your fault if you tell your neighbor that you never lock your doors and keep a bunch of cash in the house at all times. Let's be sensible as people and accept that cancer 97% of the time happens when we (can) control it. Also, the more we propagate that eating healthy is more expensive than eating shitty the more people believe it. I am an average wage earning American and I eat a plant-based diet for the same price as an animal based one. The only real increase in cost was when I decided to start buying as much organically as possible. Even if you buy conventional produce, you'll have far better chances of being healthy than sticking to the same animal-based diet most Americans are on.

David Farzam said...

I couldn't agree more with your statement that eating a plant based diet is just as expensive as eating an animal based diet. Unfortunately, our society has catered to the big companies that advertise like crazy and are completely hurting everyone in the process physically, mentally, and emotionally. I do truly believe that most cancer is preventable and no matter what we need to change the way people think about what they put in their bodies. We as a society have become more lazy and have settled for the status quo of cheap, affordable garbage which he constantly eat on a daily basis. 35% is a statistic I got out of the "What is Cancer" post. As you can see, 35% is a part of the whole, with the rest of the 100% filled up by other preventable factors as well. I will change this because you make a valid point. BTW, great post below. I got really strong feedback and people really like the message you were giving.

Bijan said...

26 ounces of oil per burger? 13 pounds of carbon? those are some pretty insane statistics...i recall the same point being made regarding our ecosystem from "fast food nation" and the lagoons that are contributing to that pollution. Unfortunately the term organic has taken on a generic identity and is being used by industrial farmers on a regular basis damaging the principled roots behind the name. Pollans the man! check out Omnivore's Dilemma, he gives more information on organic locally grown produce, and how to acquire it.

David Farzam said...

I agree with your thinking bud. I know the statistics are insane but this guy has the proof to make such comments and he has done his research. It's hard for people to come to the realization that theoretically all the food we eat comes from fertilizers with more pesticides and oil than imaginable.

Marisol Dennis said...

I have survived a glioblastoma multiforme that was supposed to kill me over a decade ago. The doctors held out no hope but I never gave up hope. I turned to a holistic approach to healing and never had surgery, chemo or radiation. I changed my diet, my lifestyle, my attitude and I have just welcomed my grandson into this world !

I found your blog through the Stand Up To Cancer page on Facebook. I am grateful that you provide such critical information. I only hope that more people realize the impact and importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

David Farzam said...

Glad to here your doing well Marisol. I checked out your website and it's very informative. I hope to do as much as I can to help people such as yourself in the near future.

All the best


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