9 Diet Tips for a Healthy Colon
What’s on your plate affects your risk for colorectal cancer
A lot of new evidence links poor diet and lifestyle to colorectal cancer. Risk factors include a diet high in red or processed meat, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and heavy alcohol intake.
The American Cancer Society and the American Institute for Cancer Research agree on recommendations for a colon-heathy diet. A good rule of thumb is to fill two-thirds of your plate with plant-based foods, and the remaining one-third with meat or dairy, says Southcoast dietician Julie Guerreiro, RD, LDN, CSO.
Follow these tips for a colon-healthy diet:
- Avoid alcohol entirely or have just one drink a day, meaning 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
- Eat no more than 18 ounces of beef, pork and lamb a week.
- Limit processed meats, including lunch meats, bacon, sausages and hot dogs.
- Limit or, better yet, eliminate fried foods, which are high in calories and can lead to weight gain.
- Choose lean protein sources, such as skinless chicken or turkey and fish.
- Eat whole grains in breads and cereals, as well as brown rice.
- Favor whole fruits, fresh or frozen, over fruit juice.
- Emphasize non-starchy vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, peppers, green beans and green leafy vegetables.
- Build meals around beans and legumes, such as black beans, lentils, kidney beans and garbanzo beans.