Wrapped Up In Books


Sometimes science swings the other way.
March 16, 2009, 2:19 pm
Filed under: A, Food Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve now been a vegan for more than 10 years (more than 40%) of my life.  A perk that generally goes along with it is a  lowered incidence of cancer.  One of my greatest fears in life is getting cancer, and to be honest, nothing puts fear in my heart like the prospect of developing colorectal cancer.  Granted, it’s a major killer of women, but I’m more concerned about the huge loss of dignity in the detection and treatment of it.  There, I said it.  I’m vain. I never want my bum to become the centre of my medical attention.

Today I read an article in BBC Health (where else) that a cohort study has shown that while vegetarians have lower cancer incidences than the general populus, they actually have a higher risk ratio of developing colorectal cancer than their red meat eating counterparts. My attempt to find this paper on Google Scholar wasn’t fruitful, so I can’t say whether low sample numbers might have biased the study outcome or whether the ratio was statistically significant.

The same investigator, Dr Tim Key, has found a similar incidence of colorectal cancer between vegetarians and non-vegetarians before, while a different study (led by a different PI) has found a lowered incidence of this cancer in vegetarians.

I think it needs to be said that there are both healthy and unhealthy vegetarians.  If just cutting meat out of your diet makes you a vegetarian (or if chips constitute a vegetable portion), you need to re-examine your prerogatives. It’s absolutely necessary to add legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and other beans (especially if you’re not a tofu fan) to your diet.  This will increase your fibre intake, which has also been linked to lowered rectal cancer mortality.

This is a bit of a wake-up call for me to correct my poor eating habits while I’m still young. Sometimes I’m lazy and make the tradeoff of nutritious for easy meals, but really I should care more no matter how tired I may be. This is as good a reminder as any that I’m not invincible and may one day end up with a scope in the last place I ever wanted it to be.

Copyright © 2009 WrappedUpInBooksBlog. All rights reserved.

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1 Comment so far
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Dude. This is what I always make for myself and it’s easy and delish. Just use a can of chickpeas, a can of black beans, a whole cuke, a large tomato, and a green pepper. Together it makes a GIANT container of bean/veg salad that can last for quite a few meals. Don’t put anything on it until you eat it so that it stays less runny.

Comment by L.




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