I’m a cancer dietitian and these 3 high-fiber breakfasts can help prevent colon cancer – which is killing more young people than ever

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Written By Rivera Claudia

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Colon cancer rates are soaring, particularly among young people, and the disease is set to become the biggest killer in people under 50 years old by 2030.

While overall cancer rates have steadily fallen over recent decades, doctors have been mystified by an explosion of colorectal cancer cases in younger adults who have traditionally been at low risk of the disease.

And though experts can’t say definitively why rates are skyrocketing, lifestyle habits – including diet – are suspected as being a factor. 

Now, a cancer dietitian has revealed three high-fiber breakfasts that could help prevent the disease, explaining that fiber is key as it feeds ‘good’ bacteria in the gut that shield the colon lining. 

Fiber is broken down by the body’s gut microbiota – the ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses – through a process called fermentation, which produces beneficial microbes that help protect against colon cancer. 

The advice comes as the widow of Chadwick Boseman warned young people are ‘vastly underestimating’ the risk of the cancer after losing her husband to it.

Fiber is key as it feeds the ‘good’ microbes in the gut that shield the colon lining

Meredy Birdi, a cancer dietitian based in London, offers her clients specialized advice on nutrition and what to eat after they receive a cancer diagnosis.

She told Business Insider a bowl of oatmeal topped with berries, nuts, and mixed seeds is a solid option.

Previous research has shown that eating whole grains often, such as oats and brown rice, lowers the risk of developing colorectal cancer due to the fiber content, said cancer prevention organization World Cancer Research Fund International.

Meredy Birdi, a cancer dietitian based in London, offers her clients specialist advice on what to eat and what not to eat after a cancer diagnosis

Meredy Birdi, a cancer dietitian based in London, offers her clients specialist advice on what to eat and what not to eat after a cancer diagnosis

Nuts and seeds will also provide extra fiber, while berries are thought to have cancer-protective properties due to their antioxidants.

Ms Birdi suggested using 40g of rolled oats, 300ml of preferred milk, a handful of mixed berries, one tablespoon chopped mixed nuts (such as almonds or walnuts) and one tablespoon of mixed seeds (such as chia seeds, flaxseeds or pumpkin seeds).

A sprinkle of cinnamon can be added for extra flavor.

For a quicker option, the dietician suggests a simple yogurt and fruit bowl. Greek yogurt is high in protein and contains calcium and probiotics, which help feed the ‘good’ gut bacteria and fungi. 

Like with the oatmeal, additional nuts, seeds and fruit boosts the fiber content too.

Birdi suggests between three to four tablespoons of Greek yogurt or kefir, topped with four strawberries, half a banana, a tablespoon of mixed seeds and a tablespoon of mixed nuts.

Birdi suggests between three to four tablespoons of Greek yogurt or kefir, topped with fruits, mixed seeds and mixed nuts

Birdi suggests between three to four tablespoons of Greek yogurt or kefir, topped with fruits, mixed seeds and mixed nuts

Another healthy option is grilled vegetables with halloumi – a type of cheese – eggs and avocado.

She recommends one tablespoon olive oil, 30g of halloumi cheese, one to two eggs, half an avocado and a handful of cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and fresh spinach.

An optional one or two slices of whole-grain toast could be added to bulk up the meal and add extra fiber.

Mushrooms are a rich source of dietary fiber, as are spinach and tomatoes.

Statistics show colon cancer cases are expected to spike more than 140 percent among those under 50 years old by 2030, with about 27,000 patients expected to be diagnosed every year.

More than 4,000 colon cancer deaths are also expected to be recorded by this date, as the cancer becomes the biggest killer in the age group. 

Nearly 30 years ago, it was the fourth biggest.

Most of the patients are in their 40s, although cases are also being recorded more often in people in their 30s.

Dr Christopher Lieu, a GI medical oncologist at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, told Fox: ‘This is really becoming the number one cancer-related issue in our younger population.’

Black adults are most at risk, with a 20 percent higher risk of the cancer than other ethnic groups and a 40 percent higher risk of death.

Colon cancer is especially dangerous because its symptoms are often non-specific and missed in the early stages, meaning the disease is not diagnosed until it has progressed and spread to other parts of the body, making it harder to treat.

The American Cancer Society estimated that more than 150,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2024.

More than 53,010 people will die from the disease during 2024, it said.

Symptoms may include blood in stool, weight loss over a short amount of time, pain the abdomen or changes in bowel movements.

Treatment options vary based on the size, location and how far the cancer has spread. Common therapies include surgery to remove the tumor(s), chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

If it is diagnosed before it has spread, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 91 percent. But if it has spread, the five-year survival rate drops to 72 percent.

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