Colon Cancer: Why Black Men Should Be Screened 5 Years Earlier

Jessica Iannotta is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). The healthy lifestyle guru says that a lifestyle of dieting and exercise can also get Black men back on track for success.

Of course we know that things like candy and soda contain lots of sugar, but other foods like tomato sauce and yogurt contain secret sugars and salts that are detrimental to the increased risk of cancer. The dietitian urges the brothers to try out new vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes.

“Kale and quinoa get a lot of attention, but there are lots of healthy, delicious, and inexpensive foods to enjoy. There are so many types of food out there, even picky eaters will find a few things they like.”

I know we love a big juicy steak but too much is where the problem lies, according to Iannotta. Research suggests a link between red meat and processed meats, and increased risk of cancer. She says that, “by eating smaller portion sizes of red meat and not eating meat at every meal, you can cut your risk while still enjoying foods you love.”

It’s important to get a sweat in 30 minutes a day according to the American Institute of Cancer Research. So grab a couple of the guys in the neighborhood and toss around a football for an hour or so before settling in for the evening.

Jessica offers us two immediate things Black men can do lower their risk of cancer.

  1. Divide your plate into three sections and fill two of those sections with things like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains have been shown to have inherent cancer fighting properties and help maintain a healthy body weight. A healthy weight is a great factor protecting you against cancer, but you don’t want to lose weight overnight.
  2. Make a doctors appointment and get your vitamin D levels checked. Getting enough vitamin D has been linked to cancer prevention and African Americans are more likely to have low levels of this important vitamin.


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