Weight Loss Diet Fights Gastric Cancer

Dieting often makes me feel like there is a battle raging between me and my stomach. After all, my stomach is probably the most unappreciated organ in my body because I blame it for my nagging hunger pangs, embarrassing noises it makes in the elevator and of course for being much too large. Of course, I know that my stomach has little to do with my weight problems. In fact, it is an organ I should try to nurture and care for as it is not without its own risks for disease.

Gastric Cancer Diet

Preserved meats, such as bacon and pepperoni, contain chemicals that can be converted into cancer-causing compounds in the stomach.

Even when dieting, your stomach has to work thanklessly away. Not only does it have the task of storing food that has been eaten, but it then has to break the food down into nutrients and particles that can be sent throughout the body. Without an efficiently operating stomach you will quickly waste away to nothing.

Your stomach comes in contact with everything that you eat and what you put in your stomach affect its health just as much as it affects the health of the rest of your body. The good news is that a healthy weight loss diet helps to fight some diseases of the stomach, such as gastric cancer.

Possible Causes of Gastric Cancer

Strangely enough, it is believed that the development of gastric cancer is not related to diet. Instead, research suggests that the majority of gastric cancers are caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori that causes inflammation in the stomach and may also cause ulcers. Your risk of developing gastric cancer is also related to your genetics.

This being said, the American Cancer Society has stated that eating certain foods, such as smoked foods, salted fish and meat, and pickled vegetables seem to increase the risk of stomach cancer. It is believed that these types of foods should be avoided because they contain nitrates and nitrites that Helicobacter Pylori can convert into cancer-causing compounds in the stomach.

Foods Containing Nitrates and Nitrites

During my pregnancy over the last eight months I have been very diligent to avoid all foods that contain nitrates and nitrites and I admit I am shocked at how many common foods these preservatives are in. The worst culprits for containing nitrates and nitrites appear to be preserved meats, such as hot dogs, bacon, pepperoni and many types of deli meats, but I have found them in all sorts of non-meat products as well. If you are concerned for the health of your stomach, or have a history of gastric cancer in your family, you should try to avoid foods that contain these compounds (often listed in the form of sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite in the nutritional info on food packaging). If, however, you are someone who can’t go without your smoked or preserved meats then it is recommended  you drink a glass of orange juice or take in another source of vitamin C when you eat these types of foods. This is because Vitamin C has been found to inhibit the conversion of nitrates and nitrites to cancer-causing compounds in the stomach.

Preventing Cancer Before It Begins

While many people think that cancer is something that is primarily a result of genetics rather than poor diet, scientific studies are proving this idea wrong. Not only are people without a history of cancer fighting this disease, but they are also having a hard time battling it. What you need to realize is that the healthy habits you have today are going to help you lower the risk of cancer being a part of your life in the future. Here are some ways your weight loss diet can help to reduce your risk of cancers of all kinds, including gastric cancer:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables – Study after study has shown that people who eat up to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day are more likely to avoid cancer.
  • Exercise daily – When you exercise, you keep the cells in your body active and able to repair damage more quickly.
  • Choose to eat less meat – Many studies have shown that people who eat fewer animal products are less likely to develop gastric and other digestive system cancers.

Why Weight Loss Helps Prevent Cancer

Not only will a healthier weight loss diet help fight cancer, but losing weight will too. When you lose weight, your body is going to be able to function better. This will help you to fend off cancer in a number of ways. If each cell of your body is functioning in an optimal way, they will be able to repair cellular damage much more efficiently. Sometimes this damage can turn into cancerous growths, so this is a very important process. In addition, when you lose weight, you will be able to live a more active lifestyle, which can help prevent some types of cancers.

The Macrobiotic Lifestyle for Cancer Patients

If you already have cancer, you will find many doctors suggest following a macrobiotic diet. This diet can also be used for weight loss and involves eating primarily fresh vegetables, whole grains and beans. You will not eat any processed foods and calorie counts are kept low. This diet is supportive to the body and it allows the patient’s digestive system to rest. While it’s true this diet can be difficult to stick to, it has been shown to help a person who is battling cancer.

People who follow the Mediterranean Diet have also been found to have lower incidence of gastric cancer. Similar to the macrobiotic diet, it is believed that the fresh foods and high amount of antioxidants associated with this diet may make all the difference.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Healthy Weight Loss Diet May Prevent Cancer”, “Link Between Breast Cancer and Obesity”, “Anti-Cancer Diet”, and “Macrobiotic Diets”.


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3 comments to Weight Loss Diet Fights Gastric Cancer

  • Kate

    Never though weight loss would help cancer as well. I know that eating healthy and being at your optimum weight help prevent diseases but cancer…Can understand the indirect effects though.

    • So_Sleepy

      It surprises me how many people don’t realize that being overweight contibutes to cancer. People always seem to link being overweight to mostly cardiovascular diseases but it’s not so. Being obese or overweight is also strongly linked to increased risks of several common cancers i.e. colon cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, esophagus cancer, endometrium cancer, and pancreotic cancer just to name a few. There are probably many reasons why- being overweight and having a lot of excess body fat especially around the middle, is linked with insulin resistance and high insulin levels. People generally associate insulin with high blood sugar and diabetes, but researchers think that high levels of insulin may encourage the growth of cancer cells. Excess fat also seems to cause inflammation throughout the entire body which also seems to promote cancer growth. Also being overweight and having excess body fat poses a specific risk to older women because after menopause, the excess fat holds higher levels of estrogen, which can encourage the development and growth of estrogen-related cancers i.e. breast and endometrium cancer. So, there is a real link to being heavy and cancer…

  • Nice article. I have tried many different weight reduction programs over the years and have had some success. the best weight loss foods I have found are the high fibre plus nutrient dense food. Lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and of course greens. I always check up with the GI as well to find out the ratings for the foods I consume. I shall bookmark this website and come back again, thanks.

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