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Risks factors for colorectal cancer

“This is hardly surprising, since we’ve known for more than a decade that the three greatest risks for colorectal cancer are a lack of vegetables, too much meat and alcohol. Meat, especially red, processed and cured meats, introduce known carcinogens largely created from cooking or curing meat,” he said,

Fish, on the other hand, says Holford, has repeatedly been shown to be  anti-cancer, especially oily fish, which reduces inflammation and protects cells in the colon. It is also high in vitamin B12 needed for methylation. Poor methylation is also a contributor to cancer risk. Compared with non-vegetarians, the study found that vegans had a 16 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer while dairy eating vegetarians had 18 percent lower risk – less than half the risk reduction of fish-eating vegetarians.

‘Fishkins’ is better than Atkins

“This is why I am not an advocate of a high meat (and dairy) diet as advocated by followers of the Atkins or the Banting diet. Eating a low GL diet, with plenty of vegetable sources of protein from lentils, beans, nuts and seeds, plus fish, ideally three times a week, is consistent with reducing disease risk and staying healthy,” said Holford.

“If you are intent on losing weight, and at the same time looking after your long-term health, by cutting out carbs completely it is better to go ‘fishkins’ rather than Atkins. However my Low GL diet which reduces carbohydrates but doesn’t banish all low GL bread and pasta is equally effective and much easier to do – with none of these health risks, only benefits,” said Holford.

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Sources: JAMA Internal MedicineUS National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Patrick Holford: Atkins diet cancer risk and Low GL

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