A recent study has found that eating healthy plant foods can significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer for men.

The study followed a large, diverse population over an average timespan of 19 years to find if there was a significant relationship between eating plant foods and developing colorectal cancer. After controlling for race, ethnicity, age, and other variables that impact the probability of developing cancer, such as family history, researchers found that men eating healthy plant based foods, like whole grains and legumes, were over 20% less likely to develop colorectal cancer then men who consumed more animal-based foods, such as meat and dairy. This study highlights the power that incorporating more plant-based items into diet can have on long-term health.

“Our findings support that improving the quality of plant foods and reducing animal food consumption can help prevent colorectal cancer.”

Source: Kim, J., Boushey, C.J., Wilkens, L.R. et al. Plant-based dietary patterns defined by a priori indices and colorectal cancer risk by sex and race/ethnicity: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. BMC Med 20, 430 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-022-02623-7

Laura Bustard is an actuary who is passionate about plants. She has conducted research on the emergency food system and prescription-produce, and recently worked for FairShare CSA Coalition in Madison, WI. She now lives in Goleta, CA, and works remotely for The Standard, holding a Masters of Science in Urban and Regional Planning and a Fellowship from the Society of Actuaries.


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