Cancer survivors often do not eat a healthy, deeply nourishing diet according to research. This is shocking to me, that the individuals who are most motivated to improve their situation are not doing so!
Some cancer survivors in the United States are inspired to learn about better food choices and dietary ways to improve their health, but the findings are that many are not doing this.
Newly released research has found that cancer survivors eat a less healthy, nutritious diet than the general population. They eat empty calorie food which is very low in fiber. The cancer survivors did not follow the Healthy Eating Index Guidelines as much as people who have not had cancer. Green vegetables and whole grains were particularly low.
Why is eating a healthy diet important for cancer survivors?
Cancer survivors usually have a higher risk of chronic health problems and suffering a recurrence of cancer. One of the easiest things they can do to help prevent the possibility of health issues is to improve their diet.
It is known that a diet full of the right nutrients helpful in preventing cancer. Fruits and vegetables can help protect against several cancers. Learn more at: The Role of Major Nutrients in Cancer Prevention Also, read: Lycopene, the Powerful Nutrient That May Help Prevent Cancer
This was what instigated the research at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science, led by Dr. Fang Fang Zhang. The subjects consisted of 1533 cancer survivors (majority of cancer survivors were women (66%) and non-Hispanic whites (83%) with 3075 people who had never had cancer). They analyzed and compared the diets using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2010 using the Healthy Eating Index Guidelines. They did a comparison on those who had survived cancer with people who have never had cancer.
Research Found the Diet of Cancer Survivors to Have…
- A healthy eating index of 47.2 and those who have not had cancer was 48.3. Although this is not a big difference, considering that some will have already adjusted their diet to be healthier and that they have a real reason to be motivated to have a very healthy diet.
- Less fiber, fewer vegetables and whole grains.
- Full of empty calories, low in nutrients.
– Low dietary intake of vitamin D, vitamin E, potassium, and calcium.
– High amounts of saturated fats and sodium.