Dad-ing, opinion

News: Every year, more Canadian men put themselves at risk for cancer

Can a bad diet increase my risk for cancer? As I rapidly advance toward my 40th birthday, my Google searches have become a bit more focused on improving my quality (and length) of life. I’ve almost entirely given up alcohol (a type-1 carcinogen – who knew?) and switched out my usual PB+J toast for yogurt and a few handfuls of berries, but did you know that a bad diet can increase your risk for cancer? In fact, according to the World Cancer Research Fund, an unhealthy diet is one of the leading causes of cancer, along with tobacco use, physical inactivity, and alcohol consumption.

Research shows that men between the ages of 25-55 who consume a diet high in processed and red meat, saturated fats, and added sugars are at an increased risk for various types of cancer, including colorectal, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. Additionally, men who do not consume enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also at an increased risk for cancer.

To put this into perspective, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that men who consume a diet high in red and processed meat have a 12% increased risk for colorectal cancer compared to men who consume a diet low in red and processed meat.

Furthermore, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that men who consume a high-sugar diet have an increased risk for pancreatic cancer, with the risk increasing by 36% for every 50 grams of sugar consumed per day.

It’s important for men between the ages of 25-55 to prioritize a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to reduce their risk for cancer. By making simple changes to their diet, such as swapping processed snacks for fresh fruits or replacing red meat with fish, men can significantly improve their overall health and reduce their risk for cancer.

Every year, Canadian men eat fewer fruits and vegetables. Men are two times more likely to have a heart attack and are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and eating healthier is one of the most effective things men can do to reduce their risk.

Here are a few quick ways to throw a few veggies into your day:

  1. Blend it up: Invest in a high-quality blender and start making your own smoothies. You can pack in a ton of fruits and vegetables into one delicious drink. Experiment with different combinations to find what you like best.
  2. Try a vegetable challenge: Challenge yourself to eat one new vegetable every week. This will encourage you to try new things and help you incorporate more vegetables into your diet.
  3. Grow your own produce: If you have the space, consider starting a small vegetable garden. You’ll have fresh produce on hand and the process of growing your own food can be incredibly rewarding.
  4. Get creative with your meals: Look up recipes that incorporate more fruits and vegetables. For example, you can add extra vegetables to your omelet or make a salad with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

With grocery prices continuing to rise, the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) has launched A Guy’s Guide To Eating Healthy (PDF attached). The free, online resource includes simple dietitian recommendations, meal ideas, and cost-saving tips, including a feature recipe from renowned Chef and CMHF National Champion Ned Bell.

Canadian men are eating less healthily every year
Canadian Men’s Health Foundation releases free Guy’s Guide To Eating Healthy

Vancouver, BC, Apr 11, 2023 – With Canadian men eating fewer fruits and vegetables every year, and grocery prices continuing to rise, the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) has launched A Guy’s Guide To Eating Healthy, an online resource to help men make simple, healthy changes to their diet, with cost-saving tips.

Men’s fruit and vegetable consumption, a key measure for healthy eating, has steadily declined since 2015. Only 18 percent of Canadian men eat at least five servings per day, while men aged 18-34 record the lowest levels at 14 percent. With grocery costs predicted to increase another 5 to 7 percent in 2023, healthy eating is harder than ever for Canadian men and their families.

“Men are two times more likely to have a heart attack and are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, and eating healthier is one of the simplest things men can do to reduce their risk,” says TC Carling, CMHF President & CEO. “A Guy’s Guide to Eating Healthy helps men take simple actions to be healthier now and long-term.” 

The dietitian-reviewed guide features recommendations on foods to eat more, foods to eat less, simple meal ideas, and tips to save at the grocery store. CMHF National Champion and renowned Canadian Chef, Ned Bell provides additional support, including a feature recipe in A Guy’s Guide to Eating Healthy.

“CMHF and its Don’t Change Much resources encourage men that small changes can have a big impact on their health, and for me, it starts with food,” says Ned. “When I eat healthy, I feel healthy. Meals don’t have to be a chef’s creation–they can be simple, healthy, and still be incredibly delicious.” 

CMHF is working with TELUS Health MyCareTM dietitians to help men access expert nutrition advice when they need it. Canadian men in eligible provinces can access a special discount on up to three virtual dietitian sessions from the comfort of their home.  

Learn more and download A Guy’s Guide to Eating Healthy now at

A Guy’s Guide To Eating Healthy is proudly sponsored by Windset Farms®, a leading North American supplier of sustainable, greenhouse-grown produce committed to supporting the health of their communities. 

About Canadian Men’s Health Foundation:

The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) is a national, not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire men and their families to live healthier lives. The statistics around men’s health in Canada are alarming; 70% of men’s health problems can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyles. Learn more at and

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