The Mediterranean Diet is all the rage. I’m sure you’ve seen those eye-catching, colorful, plant-based food bowls on social media. Some may throw a small portion of lean meat on the side. Noticeably absent is bread, pasta, dessert. So this diet is heavy on plant-based foods, minimal meat, and very little white flour and white sugar. Which makes the Mediterranean Diet great for cancer prevention.
The Science-based Cancer Prevention Diet
There are hundreds of studies that have looked at how the Mediterranean Diet prevents a wide variety of cancers. A recent study called a “meta-analysis” (it reviews many other studies, combines the data and analyzes it) found that the Mediterranean diet has the potential to prevent certain cancers. (Reference: L. Schwingshackl’s, et al., “Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Cancer.” Nutrients. 2017)
The authors gathered data from 83 different dietary studies (with over 2,100,000 patients) looking at the effects of the Mediterranean Diet on the prevention of a wide variety of cancer. Here’s what they found:
1) CANCER DEATH DECREASES when the subjects adhered to the Mediterranean Diet at the highest levels (Relative Risk: 0.86)
(NOTE: The National Cancer Institute defines relative risk as “the risk of a certain event happening in one group, compared to the risk happening in another group.” A RR of 1 means that the risk is the same between the two different groups. If the RR is less than 1 it means that the substance, or diet in this case, decreases the risk of that event happening. The events we are concerned with here are: 1) death due to cancer or 2) development of cancer.)
2) The Mediterranean Diet had a significant effect on preventing breast, colon, biliary, gastric, liver, and head and neck cancers when followed at the highest level.
3) The Mediterranean Diet had some association in preventing endometrial, esophageal, lymphoma, ovarian, pancreatic cancers when followed at the highest levels.
Prevention of certain cancers occurs when the Mediterranean diet is followed at the highest level. So that means you’ll need to eat about 3 – 7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. A good way to get started with the cancer-fighting Mediterranean diet is to stay focused on what you’re eating. Today you’re in luck because we’ve provided a simple table below for you to use to start eating the Mediterranean diet at the highest level. And if you need more information you can download the complete Mediterranean guide here.
To Your Best Health!
Dr. Dee Grace, PhD
Scientist │Cancer Patient Advocate
FB and IG: @DrDeeGrace / @DrBedsideManners
Conquer Cancer │Thrive│Prevent. Our goal at Bedside Manners is to empower cancer patients and survivors to #beatcancer! We provide you with tools to get better healthcare during your cancer treatments, and start a cancer prevention lifestyle with cancer fighting foods and herbs. Get started right away by downloading our “7 Ways to Naturally Conquer and Prevent Cancer“ below (bit.ly/PreventCancerGuide)
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