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Nicholas Rush, RDN, CDN

December 20, 2020

Reduce Your Risk for Colon Cancer

Halcyon Health

Overweight men are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer than women.

Using BMI as a measure of health is controversial. The reason is because BMI is a calculation based on height and weight, and does not take gender, ethnicity, or genetics into consideration. Additionally BMI does not provide an accurate account of body compensation, like fat or muscle mass. These are all legitimate reasons to not rely on BMI alone as an indicator of health. It’s best to look at the whole person and not just one number.

I preface this post pointing out the discrepancy of BMI for a reason. To say that your BMI number does not indicate poor health, however it is a useful tool in studies to find correlations with excess weight and preventable chronic diseases.

For example, studies have shown men with a BMI classified in the “obese” range have a higher risk of developing colon cancer than men in a “normal” BMI range. Additionally, men in the same BMI class as women are at a higher risk than women for developing colon cancer.

The take away

Maintaining a healthy weight with exercise, eating a diet high in fiber, less red and processed meats can reduce your risk for colon cancer. This sounds easy enough to do but you may find changing your habits can be difficult. I recommend to my clients to start our with small goals! Don’t expect to change over night and expect some setbacks. Set realist goals! If you currently consume very little fruits or vegetables set a goal to consume 1 cup of either a day. Check in with yourself after a week to see how you did. Success feels great! If you’re ready, increase your fruit and vegetables intake every week until you reach 4-5 servings each day. Every time you meet your goal reward yourself with an affirmation, like looking in the mirror and telling yourself “I’m a badass!”

See below for examples of fruit and vegetable servings sizes.

1 Serving of Fruits

  • One Medium Fruit (apple, pear, orange, banana)
  • 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
  • 1/4 cup Dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup fruit juice (choose 100% juice with no sugar added)

1 Serving of Vegetables

  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
  • Vegetable Juice (choose 100% juice with no sugar added)

For a more comprehensive list of servings sizes with illustrations send request below.