Leafy green salad with tomatoes and nuts are among the foods that help reduce the risk of colon cancer.


Reduce your risk for colon cancer through diet

Take even a few minutes to search the Internet on how to lower your risk for colon cancer, and you'll find plenty of advice—some good, some not so good.

One of the important factors to consider is diet, so I've put together a quick and easy stoplight reference guide to use when compiling your shopping list. Pay special attention to the foods to limit (red), the ones to eat more of (green) and the foods for which the jury's still out (yellow).

Red meat

Red light

Limit these foods to help reduce your risk of colon cancer:

  • fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat (tallow)
  • lard and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
  • baked and fried foods that contain high levels of saturated fat
Cereal, dairy, bread

Yellow light

Research is inconclusive about the effect on cancer risk reduction by these food types:

  • fiber
  • calcium
Greens, white meat

Green light

Good food choices, which may help lower your risk of colon cancer, include:

  • Dairy: Low-fat and non-fat dairy products
  • Fruits and berries: Strawberries, grapes, apples, citrus fruits, cantaloupe and red grapefruit
  • Grains: Flaxseed, whole wheat, barley and brown rice
  • Protein: Fish such as tuna and salmon; lean white meats such as chicken breast and lean ground turkey; plant-based protein such as soybeans, peas, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds and beans
  • Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, tomatoes, carrots, yams, butternut squash and hot peppers
  • Other healthy options: Garlic, ginger, ginseng and green tea


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