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Figure 1: 40% men and 38% women get cancer at least once in their lifetime [Source: American Cancer Society]

 

You have a 38-40% chance of getting cancer. That’s what the American Cancer Society says. Please see Figure 1 above. Only 5-10% of these cancer cases are due to genes, while 90-95% of these cancer cases are due to environmental factors. Doll and Petro’s studies indicate the food we put into our bodies is the #1 cause of cancer for non-smokers. Figure 2 indicates that 54% of cancers for non-smokers are due to dietary reasons.

Figure 2: Environmental causes behind cancer [Doll & Peto, 1981]

 

Foods that increase the chances of cancer

When processing meats, nitrities and nitrates combine with natural amines to form carcinogenic nitrosoamines. Processed foods also contain additives and packaging which could have carcinogenic properties. Studies from T. Fiolet, et al. indicate a 10% higher consumption of processed foods results in a 12% higher chance of cancer. Red meats like beef and pork have indicated dramatically higher cases of breast cancer too, as Figure 3 indicates.

Figure 3: Processed foods and red meat increase the chances of cancer

 

Foods that reduce the chances of cancer

In countries where plant-based diets exist, fewer cases of cancer are observed. These diets have a lot more fiber. Studies indicate fiber binds with bile acids that are carcinogenic and take them out of the body. It does the same with estrogen. Chances of breast cancer go down with lower estrogen in the body.

A high fat diet causes more bile and estrogen production, which increase cancer risk. So, a lower fat diet is recommended. Foods that are high in selenium have shown to reduce the risk of cancer by half too.

Figure 4: Food types that reduce the chances of cancer

 

Several fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals that reduce the chances of cancer quite dramatically, as Figure 5 shows. These phytochemicals often get damaged during cooking, so eating these vegetables and fruit raw whenever possible is best.

Figure 5: Phytochemicals

 

What’s the best type of meal possible then? Which keeps cancer under control?

Based on material in this blog post, it is clear that eating salads on a regular basis keeps chances of cancer low. These salad ingredients have phytochemicals, minimal processed foods and high fiber.

Now imagine a world where salads are available 24/7 in your workplace, and you never get bored of them since you can customize the salads the way you want. That’s what Sally the Salad Robot provides. We’ve even seen in trials that Sally allows 3x more salads to be sold vs. regular boxed salads, due to the customization and improved user experience. During our pilots at different locations, people who used to eat a bag of chips as a snack came to Sally and ate a side salad as a snack. All this has huge implications for cancer avoidance. Its tremendously exciting that we are able to keep people healthy with the food we are offering them.