What is the No 1 cancer in Singapore?
In case you have not heard, its COLON cancer or also known as cancer of the intestines.
The main cause of this cancer is due to the lack of DIETARY FIBRE in your diet. Dietary fibre comes mainly from wholegrains, fruits and vegetables.
However, according to a recent National Nutrition Survey, 9 in 10 Singaporeans do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. Only 1 in 3 Singaporeans meet the two-serving of fruits and two-serving of vegetables needed daily! These statistics are real and worrying.
So if Singapore prides itself for being No 1 in so many areas, then why are we not topping the charts this time?
There are several reasons why colorectal cancer is becoming more common in Singapore and in recent years, the Covid epidemic has made the situation worse. More Singaporeans are gaining weight from working from home and ordering meals, which restricts physical activities. Other than being overweight and sedentary, type 2 diabetes is also a risk factor and approximately 400,000 Singaporeans are diabetic, which has increased over the past ten years.
So how does dietary fibre prevent colon cancer?
Fibre is the indigestible part of plant foods that passes through the intestines.
When fibre passes through, it absorbs water and becomes bulky. This softens the stool and helps to move quickly through the intestines.
Acting like a vacuum cleaner, it removes toxins and other useless waste materials out of your body. This reduces the chance that your intestinal walls can develop polyps (like balloons) and turn cancerous. Hence, dietary fibre is very important in keeping the colon “clean and waste-free”.
So how much dietary fibre do we need a day?
A rule of the thumb will be to fill ¼ of your plate with vegetables and another ¼ with fruits for at least two meals a day. This will give a good gauge on the 20-25g that we need daily.