A bad diet really can raise your risk of cancer. Here's how.


However much we might like to believe that a detox tea or a super-berry will prevent us from getting cancer, the truth is a more bitter pill: anyone can get cancer no matter what kind of lifestyle they follow, but eating healthy foods and exercising regularly is the best way to lower your risk.
But that’s so much less satisfying, isn’t it? “Eating healthy” is this ambiguous idea that might seem only tangentially related to cancer, whereas eating an antioxidant that supposedly blocks free radicals feels like much more direct action. And yet the truth is that just as many cancer cases are caused by poor diet as by drinking alcohol, and even more are tied to the excess body weight that comes with eating that poor diet. Roughly two out of every five cancer cases in America are preventable by a modifiable risk factor, from alcohol consumption to physical inactivity and, of course, cigarette smoking. That’s more than 659,000 cases annually. Of those, a new study in the journal JNCI Cancer Spectrum estimates that more than 80,000 (at least in 2015) were attributable to suboptimal diet. So what does that actually mean? How does diet influence our cancer risk? We'll break it down for you.

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