Foods that have been processed and stripped of their nutritional value are known as refined foods.
Refined grains include: cakes, pastries, white bread, pasta, cookies, sweet or savory biscuits, refined breakfast cereals, white rice, pancakes, and pizza. The study in question looked at the role of a wide variety of foods and drinks in the risk of stomach can-cer.
The researchers analyzed data from a case-control study conducted in Italy on 230 people with confirmed stomach cancer (143 men and 87 women, aged 22-80 years), and 547 control groups (286 men and 261 women, age range 22-80 years) in Hospital for acute non-neoplastic diseases.
For cereals, a “direct association” with stomach cancer risk was seen, with the highest percentage compared to the lowest intakes one-fifth, the researchers noted. A fifth is any of five equal groups into which a population can be divided according to the distribution of values for a given variable. It is one of the most commonly used measures of statistical analysis.
Conversely, opposite trends in risk were observed with vegetable and fruit intake.
The researchers concluded, “The results of this study confirm the protective role of vegetables and fruits against stomach cancer and indicate a harmful effect of (refined) grains on this tumor.”
Multiple studies over the years have found an association between refined grains and cancer risk.
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that “refined cereals are directly associated with the risk of developing canc-er of the oral cavity and pharynx.” Although the researchers acknowledge that “causality and biological explanation remain open to debate.”
Cancer Research UK explains: “If something is carcinogenic, it means that it can cause cancer. There are not many foods that cause can-cer, but eating red and processed meat can increase the risk of bowel can-cer.”
A healthy body is keen to dispel some of the myths surrounding the role that diet may play in preventing cancer. Some people have suggested that green tea may reduce the risk of cancer. This is because it contains catechins – an antioxidant that appears to stop tumor growth in mice.
But results from large studies have not shown that green tea reduces the risk of can-cer in humans.
Can-cer symptoms are often subtle or absent at first.