How the DASH Diet Can Help Against Cancer

By Sarah Samaan, Rosanne Rust, Cynthia Kleckner

With its emphasis on fruits, veggies, and whole grains, combined with limited amounts of sodium, sugar, red meat, and processed foods, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is spot-on for cancer prevention.

Fruits and vegetables not only are great sources of powerful antioxidants and other cancer-fighting nutrients but also provide loads of colon-friendly fiber. Whole grains likewise deliver another wide spectrum of equally important nutrients and fiber. Diets rich in these healthy foods have long been associated with a lower likelihood of cancer.

Red meats, especially processed meats such as ham and lunchmeat, have been clearly linked to a higher risk for colon cancer. The DASH diet keeps these high-sodium foods to a minimum, with the option of avoiding them altogether. And because a high-salt diet may raise the likelihood of esophageal and stomach cancers, choosing the DASH diet can make all the difference.

Finally, obesity itself contributes to a spectrum of cancers, including cancers of the breast, esophagus, pancreas, colon, uterus, and prostate. Combining the DASH diet with calorie-cutting and exercise can get you back on the right track.