Nutrition and Cancer Prevention
CHAPTER 10: Dietary Patterns and Cancer Risk
Published:27 Nov 2019
Special Collection: 2019 ebook collection
D. M. Marchioni, in Nutrition and Cancer Prevention, ed. T. P. Ong and F. S. Moreno, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019, pp. 160-168.
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Dietary patterns can be defined as the quantities, proportions, variety or combination of different foods and drinks in diets, and the frequency with which they are habitually consumed. In recent years, the analysis of dietary patterns related with health outcomes has gained importance, over singular nutrients or food compounds, due the complexity of the diet composition, and the potential antagonistic and synergetic effects of the components. The two prevalent approaches to obtain dietary patterns are ‘a priori’ and ‘a posteriori’. The first relies on scientific knowledge and evidence to create an index and the second is data driven. In both approaches, the literature reveals that adherence to healthy dietary patterns is consistently related with lower cancer risk and cancer mortality, and unhealthy dietary patterns with higher risk. Even with the known limitations for the assessment of dietary patterns, the existent evidence supports the promotion of diets rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and low in red and processed meat, sugary foods and drinks, salty snacks and fat.