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Leukemia & Lymphoma

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Diet Linked to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Lots of Meat, Saturated Fat, Dairy May Raise Risk

Unbalanced Diet, Unhealthy Body continued...

A high-fat diet may indeed be linked to higher body weight. But Zheng says that people eating low-carb diets may also be at risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma if they eat too much meat and too few vegetables.

One thing that's known about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is that people whose immune systems aren't working well -- such as AIDS patients -- are at increased risk. Zheng suggests that immune function depends on proper nutrition.

"Your body is designed to repair things," Zheng says. "But if your body is not getting proper nutrition, how can the immune system continue to function? Everything relates to the nutrients in your dietary intake."

Cancer-Fighting Foods

Zheng says that it's not necessary to stop eating meat. Nor it is necessary to gobble up huge quantities of vegetables. A balanced diet, he says, is all that's needed.

His study showed that people who ate more of certain foods tended to have a lower risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Those foods include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions
  • Mixed lettuce salad
  • Leeks
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Citrus fruits

Improving your diet won't just lower your cancer risk, Mueller notes.

"There is such a confluence between risk factors for cancer and risk factors for heart disease," she says. "Get plenty of exercise, eat a good diet, don't smoke. It is what your mother told you. It's true that this is the basis of a healthy lifestyle. And it's true that this lowers your risk for these big killers, too."

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