Contributed by Debbie Jeffery, RD
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has 8 recommendations for cancer prevention:
- Be as lean as possible without being underweight. Having a healthy weight is one of the most significant things you can do to reduce your cancer risk. Carrying excess fat around our waists releases estrogen into the blood stream and increases the levels of other hormones as well. This is strongly linked to colon cancer and probably to cancers of the pancreas and breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Regular exercise helps keep hormone levels in a healthy range which is important because high levels of certain hormones can increase cancer risk. Physical activity may also help to strengthen the immune system.
- Avoid sugary drinks and limit consumption of energy dense food to prevent excess weight gain.
- Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans. These foods are packed with vitamins, mineral, phytochemicals and fiber which help to protect cells in the body from damage that can lead to cancer.
- Limit consumption of red meat and avoid processed meat. To reduce cancer risk, limit red meat consumption to no more than 18 ounces cooked weight per week.
- If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
- Limit consumption of salty food and foods processed with salt. Studies have shown that a high salt intake can damage the lining of the stomach and probably increases the risk of developing stomach cancer.
- Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer. In general, the best source of nutrients is food, not diet supplements.
To read more, go to the AICR website, www.aicr.org/reduce-your-cancer-risk/