Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vegetables and Fruits Do Not Protect Against Cancer

We have been told by the authorities, repeatedly, that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will lower our risk of cancer. However, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that this is not necessarily the case:

"Conclusions: Intake of fruit and vegetables was generally unrelated to total cancer incidence in this cohort. Residual confounding by smoking is a likely explanation for the observed inverse association with vegetable intake among men."
This study reveals a very modest association between high intake of fruits and vegetables and reduced risk of cancer. Of course, due to the fact the research was based upon the daily food reporting of the people involved in the study, there can be a great amount of error... although I tend to believe that the error would be more in line with falsifying a greater amount of vegetables and fruits eaten. People tend to say what they think others want to hear. 

What does this mean? According to the Cancer Research blog out of the UK
"If the study’s results are to be believed, the authors calculate that if everyone ate two more portions a day on average, then 2.6 per cent of cancers in men could be avoided, as could 2.3 per cent of cancers in women. In the UK, this equates to around 7,200 cases of cancer every year."

They also point out that even if fruits and vegetables do not help to reduce cancer rates by more than 2.6%, eating them means that you are not liable to eat foods that do harm your body like junk food and processed foods.

I agree with them whole-heartedly. Of course, I eat very little vegetables and even fewer fruits due to my desire to continue to get rid of my excess weight. That said, once I get to my desired weight, I do plan on adding more vegetables and fruits into my diet simple because I like their taste. Which is an oddity. During my years of living the SAD (Standard American Diet) I thoroughly disliked nearly all vegetables. But now that I have cut out all sugar, I can actually taste their true flavors and I am finding how much I enjoy them.

Which means that is makes complete sense for vegetables to be hated by the majority of the people since their diets are screwing with their taste buds.

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