Sitting at the table and eating is a gesture that changes our health. Even on the cancer front. To explain the reasons are Daniele Del Rio, professor of Human Nutrition, and Marcello Tiseo, professor of Medical Oncology, both at the University of Parma.
How does food interact with our body and increase or reduce the risk of cancer?
The compounds contained in food can greatly influence the functioning of our body. The energetic nutrients (carbohydrates and lipids) modulate its metabolism, the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) guarantee its functioning by participating in many biochemical reactions that take place within it. There are also numerous non-nutritious compounds in food, which can impact the functioning of our body in various ways. The diet and its components can influence the risk of cancer both in negative terms, when, for example, the introduction of nutrients is very unbalanced or some micronutrients are strongly deficient, or positive, when the diet is rich in able components, through many mechanisms (some of which are not yet fully known) to ensure proper functioning of our cells. However, it should be remembered that cancer is always a multifactorial disease, which arises from various combinations of conditions, both genetic and related to lifestyle and the environment that surrounds us.
Is it true that insulin spikes and chronic inflammatory states must be avoided?
Consuming a diet that does not lead to continuous changes in blood sugar (and consequently insulin) is a healthy choice in any condition, in health and in disease. Not all carbohydrates are equally capable of generating glucose spikes after a meal and choosing those that do so in a more moderate way is always the best option.
The role of sugar and unrefined foods.
The term “sugar” is often misinterpreted. If it is associated with the food component of “simple sugars”, then their consumption should be limited. However, even to avoid hearing phrases like “fruit hurts because it is full of sugars”, it is right to underline that the food matrix with which sugars are introduced is very important. A fruit is usually rich in fiber and water and has, for this reason, a great capacity to satiate and a low energy density. This ensures that the sugars it contains are introduced along with a lot of fiber and induce a reduced desire to eat again. If the same sugars are introduced with a sugary drink, all this reasoning skips.
How to dispose of toxic substances for the kidneys and liver through food?
It is the liver and kidneys that are responsible for managing the potentially harmful substances that we introduce with the diet or in the context of therapy. Foods do not have this task and the rather frequent concept of a “detox diet” is nothing more than a hoax. A healthy and balanced diet, which follows the Mediterranean model and the guidelines for a healthy diet, is perfect in any context.
Does alcohol play a role in the onset of cancer?
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there is no safe dose of alcohol in the diet that does not negatively affect the risk of cancer, for this reason, when it comes to cancer, the preventive indication is always not to consume alcoholic beverages.
© All rights reserved