Research shows that eating like a caveman helps prevent colorectal cancer, one of the major causes of death worldwide. Each year, over 41,112 new cases are diagnosed in the UK alone. Approximately 15,903 British people have died from this disease in 2014. Things are even worse in the U.S. where colorectal cancer causes about 100,000 deaths annually.
According to health experts, the paleo diet may prevent and even treat colorectal cancer. Even though there is a strong link between cancer and red meat, which plays a key role in paleo, this connection tends to disappear if we consider other dietary factors, such as our daily vegetable intake. Paleo advocates claim that red meat does cause cancer but only if you’re not getting enough fiber from fruits and vegetables.
Recent studies support these findings. The paleo diet can decreases cancer risk as long as you’re eating your veggies. This dietary pattern puts emphasis on healthy animal foods that are free of antibiotics and growth hormones. It encourages the consumption of pastured eggs, organic meat, wild-caught fish, leafy greens, and foods rich in heart-healthy fats. This diet is vegetable-heavy and eliminates modern carcinogens that are usually found in processed foods.
The typical Western diet provides less fibre and nutrients compared to paleo. The average American consumes 10 to 18 grams of fibre a day, which is less than the recommended daily intake. Research indicates that our hunter-gatherer ancestors used to eat over 100 grams of fibre a day. Additionally, the paleo diet promotes exercise and healthy eating, which helps reduce the risk factors linked to colorectal cancer.
This deadly disease affects one in 23 women and one in 21 men. It occurs in the rectum or colon when cells begin to grow out of control. Most tumors develop on the inner lining of the large intestine. Common risk factors include lack of physical activity, obesity, smoking, heavy drinking, and diets that are high in processed foods. Lifestyle factors play a key role in colorectal cancer prevention. Studies have found that diets high in fruits and vegetables may lower cancer risk.
The paleo lifestyle focuses on whole, natural foods. Many dieters consume raw foods or cook them to a minimum, which further reduces colorectal cancer risk. This eating pattern also encourages intermittent fasting, which has been linked to a decreased cancer rates. Going paleo appears to be one of the easiest, most effective ways to improve health and prevent the development of tumors.