These messages are based on the work of the National Cancer Institute (INCa) who showed that 40% of cancers could be avoided with a healthier lifestyle. So beat beer for green tea and smoke against yoga. If the ravages of tobacco no longer need to be proven, not easy to find a way in the various dietary advice (avoid fat, sweet, salty, meat …) to avoid developing cancer. David Khayat, oncologist at Pitié Salpêtrière and co-author with his daughter of La cuisine anticancer (June 2016), details the five good reflexes to take.
1. Eat a variety .
Despite the many promising releases on miracle foods, the oncologist corrects: “There is no anti-cancer food, but some are better than others. You can eat anything provided you do not abuse anything, “says Professor Khayat.
What should be favored?
Foods rich in antioxidants. Why ?
“A cell to find energy needs oxygen,” says the doctor. Part of the oxygen, metabolized by our body, is transformed into free radicals. Which can cause mutations at the base of most cancers. Antioxidants block these free radicals and act as an antipoison. Pomegranate, turmeric, green tea, coffee, broccoli, selenium (in Brazil nuts), quercetin (in capers and lovage) are the top 7 foods rich in antioxidants. A list to privilege, without excluding the rest. “We do not really know what gives cancer and it’s probably different for each person,” says Khayat. By changing your menus, you protect yourself even more.
2. Are we entitled to meat?
Vast debate … For the teacher, nothing serves to ban it. Provided you do not take too much. The rule is to eat meat or fish once a day. If at lunchtime you offer a steak, lentil place, bulgur, semolina or quinoa in the evening. With always more vegetables than proteins on the plate. “And if you’re cooking red meat, it’s important to let it rest after cooking so that the blood comes out. Because the October 2016 WHO study proved that it is hemoglobin that is carcinogenic. “
3. Choose your fish well.
For fish, the oncologist advises instead cod, sea bream, sole and other sardines. “Because salmon, bluefin tuna and swordfish, and whelks are highly contaminated with heavy metals. With an extra red card for salmon: “It’s rich in persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that last up to 20 years in your body,” explains Khayat.
4. Pay attention to cooking!
“Two cooking methods are clearly carcinogenic: the wok and the barbecue,” says the oncologist. For a question of heat: “In a flat pan, food reaches 160 ° while they climb up to 350 ° in a wok, but all oils become carcinogenic at this temperature. “Otherwise, the rule remains the same: vary between boiled vegetables, a fry from time to time, a steamer … Even if the best cooking technique turns out to be ancestral: braising, provided you have time to do simmer on a low heat a beef bourguignon for example … And the best fat for cooking remains olive oil. Provided not to lather.
5. Spices are your friends.
In particular turmeric, which if combined with pepper, is an extraordinary antioxidant. “But more generally, all peppers are interesting. People think that peppers give stomach cancer, it’s totally wrong, “says the oncologist.