The American Cancer Society came out with revised guidelines for cancer prevention this past Wednesday. We know that most people think cancer is out of our control, but it isn’t entirely! Genetics and chance do play a major role, but research shows that 30% of cancer incidences can be prevented by a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The guidelines include four major recommendations that we’ve listed below. Each recommendation has several supporting recommendations
1. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life
- Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight.
- Avoid excess weight gain at all ages. For those who are currently overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
- Engage in regular physical activity and limit consumption of high-calorie foods and beverages as key strategies to help you to maintain a healthy weight.
2. Adopt a physically active lifestyle
- Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week.
- Children and adolescents should engage in at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous intensity activity occurring at least 3 days each week.
- Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down and watching television, and other forms of screen-based entertainment.
- Doing some physical activity above usual activities, no matter what one’s level of activity, can have many health benefits.
3. Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods
- Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit consumption of processed meat and red meat.
- Eat at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
4. If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption
- Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.
(from the American Cancer Society)
Follow these guidelines, combined with our other recommendations for healthy eating and you’ve got your best defense.