March 7, 2024

How Nutrition Links to Colorectal Cancer

Preventative Health
Blog Graphic for How Nutrition Links to Colorectal Cancer

Many factors can increase your risk of getting colorectal cancer, such as being overweight or obese, low physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, age, family history, and a very important one, your diet. Having a healthier and well-balanced diet can help lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends eating a diet that’s high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and avoiding or limiting alcohol, red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks, highly processed foods, and refined grain products. To reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer, follow the healthy tips provided below.

Eat protein-packed foods

Eating protein-packed foods helps your body repair cells and tissues, therefore, you should try to include a source of lean protein in all your meals and snacks.

Good sources of lean protein include –

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Low-fat dairy like milk, yogurt, and cheese
  • Nuts and nut butter, beans, and soy foods

Processed meats and red meats, such as deli meat and hot dogs, are linked to the development of colorectal cancer and should be avoided.

Include fruits and vegetables in your diet

Including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet offers your body antioxidants that can help fight against cancer. Aim to eat a minimum of five servings of whole fruits and vegetables every day.

Eat whole-grain foods

Whole-grain foods provide a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, which helps you have more energy throughout the day.

Examples of whole-grain foods include –

  • Oatmeal
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-grain pasta

Choose healthy fats & limit sweets and added sugars

Try avoiding foods that are fried, greasy, and fatty, as well as desserts and sweets that are high in sugar. Instead, eat healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Another thing you should definitely try limiting or avoiding overall is alcohol intake. Alcohol contributes greatly to dehydration, causing your immune system to slow down and not work to its full potential.

Eat small and frequent meals

Eating smaller protein-packed foods more frequently will ensure your body is getting enough calories, protein, and nutrients throughout the day.

If you have questions about your diet, visit Nutrition Services – Fort HealthCare.


Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk (
Foods That Fight Colorectal Cancer | UC Health