Cancer: The popular food that could be raising your bowel cancer risk – doctor warning

This Morning: Expert discusses benefits of cutting down on meat

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Bowel cancer describes cancer that begins in the large bowel. Depending on its location, it can be also called colon or rectal cancer. This type is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the UK, according to the NHS. And a certain food could be raising your risk.

During a health segment on This Morning about how to keep the gut healthy, Dr Ellie addressed how going part-time vegan could benefit the gut and cut your risk of cancer.

She warned that red and processed meat could increase the risk of developing bowel cancer.

“If you’re cutting down on meat, first of all, you are cutting down on saturated fat,” she explained.

Saturated fat can raise your levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol which in return boosts your risk of heart disease and stroke, the NHS notes.

But that isn’t the only benefit of ditching meat the doctor shared.

Dr Ellie said: “People who have a very high intake of red and processed meat are more prone to bowel disease, particularly bowel cancer.

“But you have to be really extreme in your intake to be at that level.”

Dr Ellie isn’t the only expert linking red and processed meat to serious health problems. A number of studies have found eating this type of food can increase cancer risk.

What is red and processed meat?

Red meat includes any products made from beef, pork and lamb.

Processed meat describes meat that has been altered in order to preserve or flavour it through anything from salting to smoking.

Sausages, bacon and ham fall under this category.

Dr Ellie said: “We know that swapping out some of those red meat options for a plant-based alternative is good for our gut health.”

Another benefit of switching to a plant-based diet is its characteristic food component – fibre.

The doctor said: “The big problem in the UK is that we don’t eat enough fibre.

“And fibre is the sort of thing that keeps you going regularly to the loo and also going comfortably so you’re not constipated and that is really crucial.

“If you’re not going regularly that really is associated with bowel problems.”

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