Low-Fat, Plant-Based Diet Helps Prevent Skin Cancer

Every summer, we hear lots of advice to use sunscreen and wear hats and so on to help us avoid skin cancer. No one ever bothers to tell us that eating a low-fat, plant-based diet also helps to prevent skin cancer.

This article, which was published in 1994 in the New England Journal of Medicine, studied the effect of a dietary change (a switch to a lower-fat diet) on people who had had at least one non-melanoma skin cancer. The people who switched to a lower-fat diet were less likely to get new precancerous lesions. A follow-up study published in 1998 showed that they were also less likely to get skin cancers.

A proper diet might also help reduce the risk of melanoma, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer. Eating too much polyunsaturated fat increases the risk of cancer in general and melanoma in particular. People who drink too much alcohol and don’t eat enough vegetables are also at higher risk for melanoma.

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik