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A new study has shown that an individual’s diet has a significant amount to do with their correlated risk of developing stomach cancer.
The study, which was carried out at the Department of Pharmacy at the Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, Oman, involved 53 participants with stomach cancer and 53 participants without the condition. The participants were examined by their medical records and by using questionnaires based on known stomach cancer dietary risks.
Stomach cancer is one of the highest occurring cancers in Oman, and the incidence of stomach cancer diagnoses is much higher than other Gulf countries. Scientists within the country decided to look at the country’s traditional diet – a high consumption of fish, red meat, animal fats (especially camel) and a surprisingly low consumption of raw fruit and vegetables – and evaluate the possible dietary risks for stomach cancer.
The research team found that those who ate foods like bread, beef, cheese, soft drinks and sweet desserts had a significantly higher risk of stomach cancer, whereas participants who consumed diets which consisted of fresh fruits, vegetables, fruit juice, yogurt, tea and vegetable salad had a lesser risk of developing the disease.
Earlier studies have shown that a high salt diet can also significantly increase an individual’s risk of developing stomach cancer. In 2012, the World Cancer Research Fund reported that 14% of stomach cancer cases could have been prevented through reducing salt intake.
Kate Mendoza, the head of health information at the World Cancer Research Fund stated: “Stomach cancer is difficult to treat successfully because most cases are not caught until the disease is well established. This places even greater emphasis on making lifestyle choices to prevent the disease occurring in the first place – such as cutting down on salt intake and eating more fruit and vegetables.”
To help reduce your risk of developing stomach cancer, avoid a diet which is high in smoked, salted or pickled foods such as meats and fish. A diet which is higher in fresh fruits and vegetables can also lower stomach cancer, experts recommend that people eat a healthy all-round diet, with an emphasis on plant-based foods. Wholegrain breads, pastas and cereals instead of refined grains, and eating fish, poultry, pulses or beans instead of processed meat or red meat also helps individual’s lower their risk of developing stomach cancer.