3 simple ways to reduce your bowel cancer risk

A new report explains how exercise, and eating wholegrains and dairy can reduce your risk of bowel cancer.

A new report out today by World Cancer Prevention Fund, the world-leading cancer prevention research experts, shows new evidence linking a healthy diet to reducing bowel cancer risk. It's a subject many of you ask me about. While irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not dangerous, staying on the low FODMAP diet for a long time or restricting your diet in other ways can affect your long-term bowel health. At your next consultation, don't be afraid to ask me about the symptoms of bowel cancer (which can be similar to those of IBS) and I'll help you build these positive changes into your life with simple, tasty recipes and tips.

There is strong evidence that you can reduce your risk of bowel cancer by:

  • being physically active for 30 minutes a day, so go for a run or brisk walk after work tonight
  • eating three servings of fibre-rich wholegrains a day, like brown rice, wholemeal bread, cereals and flour, plain popcorn and oats - check out my rose berry bircher muesli and mini buckwheat pancakes
  • eating 400g of dairy a day, such as milk and yoghurt - I choose live natural yoghurt for extra health and probiotic benefits. WCRF don't recommend dairy as it may cause prostate cancer. But for women, this should be a safe amount

The report also confirmed that the following can increase your risk of bowel cancer:

  • Eating processed meat, such as bacon or salami
  • Eating too much red meat (over 500g cooked weight), such as beef or pork
  • Drinking two or more alcoholic drinks a day, say two glasses of wine
  • Being overweight or obese

The report reviewed evidence from 99 studies from around the world, examining more than 29 million adults and over 247,000 cases of bowel cancer. Bowel cancer is the 4th most common cancer, yet 45% of cases could be prevented. I'm here to help.