Men can cut their bowel cancer risk by more than a fifth by eating a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils, a new study has suggested.
Researchers found that men who ate the largest amounts of healthy plant-based foods had a 22 per cent lower risk of bowel cancer compared to those who ate the least.
However, there was no link between a similar diet and the risk of bowel cancer for women, the study said.
It involved 79,952 men in the US as well as 93,475 women.
Published in BMC Medicine, participants were asked how often they consumed certain foods and drink from a list of more than 180 items. They were also asked about portion sizes.
Those involved in the study could tick that they consumed each food or drink item “never or hardly ever” to “four or more times a day”.
Food groups were classed into “healthy plant foods”, which included whole grains, fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, legumes like lentils and chickpeas, tea, and coffee; “less healthy plant foods” such as refined grains, fruit juices, potatoes, added sugars; and “animal foods” including animal fat, dairy, eggs, fish or seafood, and meat.