Sunday, December 9, 2012

Diet and Diseases

Fats in foods are divided into saturated fats found mainly in meat and dairy products and unsaturated fats- found in fish and vegetable oils. Research has established a link between the high level of consumption of saturated fats in northern Europe and USA and the incidence of coronary heart disease, leading to death from heart attacks. Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of obstructions called atheromas that contain cholesterol.

Studies have indicated a strong link between diet and the chances of developing certain cancers. Cancers of the colon, rectum and stomach may be up to 90 percent diet dependent and diet may be responsible for up to 35 percent of cancers in western countries. For example, there appears to be a close correlation between levels of fat consumption and incidence of breast cancer. In Japan fat provides 22 percent of energy requirements in the diet and the death rate from breast cancer is four per 100,000 people, in USA, fat provides 40 percent of energy requirements and the death rate is 24 per 100,000. Dietary components linked to cancers include:

Excessive alcohol- cancers of the bowel, liver, mouth, oesophagus, stomach and throat, especially in smokers;

 Fatty and low fiber foods – breast and bowel cancers;

 Pickled foods- stomach cancer;

Salt- cured meat and fish, nitrate- cured meat- throat and stomach cancers.

 Dietary recommendations to reduce cancer risk:

 Eat foods rich in fiber daily.

 Eat fresh vegetables only.

 Eat less fat.

 Consume alcohol in moderation.

 Eat fewer smoked and salted foods.

 Keep weight at recommended level.