Diet and Cancer... What is the Link?

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 1996

download word file, 2 pages 3.3

Today we know that too much of a certain type of foods can have

harmful effects on our health and well-being and we are learning that

diseases such as cancer are caused in part by our dietary choices.

In the 1950's scientists discovered relationship between diet and

coronary heart disease, the nations number one killer. In the last 15 year a

link between cancer and diet has been discovered by scientists.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), an organization of the

nation's foremost scientists found evidence so persuasive that in their

landmark report Diet, Nutrition and Cancer of 1982 they insisted Americans

to begin changing their diets to reduce their risk of developing cancer. The

results of the study were supported by later research done by NAS, the

Surgeon General, Department of Agriculture and Health and Human

Services, and the National Institute of Health.

Based mainly on the study by NAS done in 1982, the American

Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) devised a guideline with four parts to

help lower people's risk of developing cancer.

The guidelines have been

updated since then to reflect recent research on the link.

The AICR guidelines are:

1. Reduce the intake of total dietary fat to a level of no more than 30%

of total calories and, in particular, reduce the intake of saturated fat to less

than 10% of total calories.

2. Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

3. Consume salt-cured, salt-pickled and smoked foods only in


4. Drink alcoholic beverages only in moderation, if at all.*

Most cancers start when the body is exposed to a carcinogen, a

cancer-causing substance that is found everywhere in our environment for

example in sunlight. When the body is exposed to this substance it can

usually destroy the carcinogen without malignant...