Eating more wholegrains decreases risk of bowel cancer

07 September 2017 | News, Healthy living, Science and research

Rachel is World Cancer Research Fund’s Head of Research Interpretation. Follow her on Twitter @RachellThompson.

Our new report, released today, has found strong evidence that eating wholegrain foods can reduce your risk of bowel cancer.

Examples of wholegrain foods include wholewheat cereals, wholemeal bread and flour, brown rice and (plain!) popcorn.

Eating 30g of any of these wholegrains (for example, two Weetabix or a thick slice of multigrain bread) three times each day reduces the risk of bowel cancer by 17 per cent.

Easy place to start

It’s not as difficult as you might think to include more wholegrain foods in your diet – an easy place to start is to swap your bog-standard white rice for brown rice.

There’s lots of great recipes featuring brown rice on the Real Recipes section of our website, including this colourful rice and chicken salad and a healthy version of everyone’s favourite Chinese takeaway, egg fried rice.

Actions all of us can take

As well as eating more wholegrains, the report also found that those who exercise more – by, for example, doing more brisk walking – have a lower risk of colon cancer compared to those who do very little exercise.

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in women and third most common in men, but this new report shows us that there are actions that all of us can take to reduce our risk.

For more information on our findings, read the full report. As well as wholegrains, we also recommend eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, and pulses such as beans.

Dr Rachel Thompson | 07 September 2017

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