American Cancer Society offers prevention tips

posted by Dustin Reed, MS, RD, CD on October 14, 2016

Proper nutrition and a physically active lifestyle can play an important role in cancer prevention, as an addition to routine self-care and physician appointments.  As part a part of cancer prevention, the American Cancer Society recommends achieving and maintaining a healthy weight throughout life. For most healthy individuals, it is never too late to start losing excess weight. One pound equals about 3,500 calories, so therefore you will need to reduce your caloric intake by 500-1,000 calories per day to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week. Of course, prior to starting any diet or weight loss plan it is always good to check with your doctor first.

In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical exercise is also key to cancer prevention. Adopting a physically active lifestyle includes limiting sedentary behavior such as any form of screen time and extended periods of sitting. Most healthy adults should be performing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense activity spread throughout the week.

Dietary factors are thought to be responsible for about 30 percent of all cancers, but a certain diet alone will likely not be a cure-all for cancer. There are some promising findings, however. A study in which women got about 25 percent of their daily calories from fat found lower risk of recurrence of breast cancer. A low-fat diet was also found to reduce the risk of first-time breast cancer for women whose diets were high in fat initially. Despite the claims that there are “super foods”, there really is no strong evidence that any specific food or supplement will lower the risk of breast cancer or its recurrence. Despite hearing it many times before: eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, limiting saturated and trans fat intake, and eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids may be your best bet in terms of dietary intervention for cancer prevention.

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