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Following a vegan diet can reduce the risk of colon cancer, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
The study, which evaluated 77,000 adults, found that on average, a vegan diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts could reduce the risk of colon cancer by 16%. For rectal cancer, a diet without meat reduces the risk by 29%. For flexitarians or meat reducers, or those who eat meat less than once a week, the risk of colon cancer has been reduced by 8%.
However, health professionals have found that diets rich in animal products, such as keto and paleo, often do not reduce the risk. In fact, a recent study has linked regular consumption of red meat with colon cancer in women. For 17 years, researchers followed 32,000 women; those who regularly ate red meat increased their risk of developing colon cancer, compared to those who consumed less or no meat.
According to dietician Tamara Deuker Freuman, the ketogenic diet, or "keto" diet, is also a high-risk diet in terms of serious illness. The diet is high in fat, which means that 70 to 80% of the calories come from fat. Only 10 to 20% of calories come from protein and 5 to 10% of carbohydrates. The diet has gained popularity in recent years, hailed for its benefits for weight loss; however, Freuman resists "A giant red flag" to the lifestyle.
The dietician wrote at the beginning of the year in an article for US News & World Report: "The ketogenic diet is a classic example of a diet at high risk of cancer," she noted. "It is very rich in animal fats in general and in red meat in particular and very poor in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains rich in fiber."
She cautioned that everyone, not just seniors, should take the health risks of this type of diet more seriously. "Colon cancer is not just something that happens to grandparents; it affects more and more their grandchildren millennia ", she noted.
Freuman is not the only one to warn people of keto and paleo diets; Earlier this year, new research suggested that low-carbohydrate, high-meat diets could shorten the life expectancy of a person in general. Of the 432,000 people, those who consumed a moderate amount of carbohydrate (about 50% of their daily caloric intake) had lower mortality rates than those on a low carbohydrate diet.