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Nutrition and cancer – how you can mitigate your risk.

You know by now that I am a clinical exercise specialist, specialising primarily in cancer prehab and rehab and also cardiac rehab. It isn’t something I talk about a lot on here but today I wanted to chat about nutrition and cancer research.


It goes without saying that I am NOT a medical professional but am a level 5 advanced nutritionist and a cancer exercise specialist and read a lot of research. I will answer any questions that I can, but should you have any concerns or have medical questions it’s important to seek medical guidance. This is also a very generalised chat about the research – it is NOT individualised advice.


Housekeeping over – let’s get into the nitty gritty.


How important is our nutrition in mitigating our cancer risk? For me – huge. For the research – also huge.


There is great evidence to suggest that dietary patterns are a great contributor to the growing cancer epidemic throughout, certainly the western world, but also there is research to suggest we can work on nutrition strategies, not only to avoid cancer but to prevent it.


Weight management is a big topic when it comes to cancer risk. A lot of the research around cancer risk finds correlation in instances of cancer with those that are considered to be overweight. We therefore need to look at a healthy weight as a factor to mitigating our cancer risk. And how do we do that? By long-term positive habit and lifestyle change that helps us to maintain physical and mental health alongside manageable habits within our chosen lifestyles. I’m your girl for that one!


Beyond there, there are various myths around nutrition and cancer, red meat being a cause of cancer being a big one.


Red meat consumption and cancer shows some correlation, HOWEVER, the relevance of the studies are fairly weak so it absolutely isn’t fair to draw concrete conclusions. There may be other confounding contributors – for example, perhaps people that eat red meat are more likely to be overweight and that is the ACTUAL cause of the increase in cases of certain cancers – perhaps not but at present, we don’t know. It could also correlate hugely with lower plant consumption in red meat eaters, smoking or alcohol consumption or inactivity for example, all of which, we know, have huge detriment to our health.


The long and short of it being that red meat does not, as far as the information that we presently have, CAUSE cancer in itself. It correlates, maybe, but does not cause cancer as far as we know. More research needs to be done to establish causation for sure.


We could say that a similar conclusion applies to processed meats – the increased risk effect shown in research is very small.


So what is the best thing, from me, a nutritionist, that we can do to mitigate our cancer risk?

Well, I will always advocate an approach whereby we look at consuming all of the foods that we enjoy in moderation. Diet drinks for example, we could consume them every day and not consume enough aspartame to develop cancer – I’m not saying we should but nothing, as far as I am concerned, needs to be off limits. As long as we are filling our diets with plenty of variety in plant sources, plenty of colours and plenty of protein, the rest in moderation for both our bodies and our minds, then you have a very happy coach over here.


Any questions or need any guidance on this stuff? You know where I am. I’m just an email away at


Peace and love for now, A x

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