Provided by: www.cancer.org
Diet and Physical Activity: What’s the Cancer Connection?
How much do daily habits like diet and exercise affect your risk for cancer? Much more than you might think. Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are 2 key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk. The good news is that you can do something about this.
Besides quitting smoking, some of the most important things you can do to help reduce your cancer risk are:
Get to and stay at a healthy weight throughout life.
Be physically active on a regular basis.
Make healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods.
The World Cancer Research Fund estimates that about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the US are related to body fatness, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition, and thus could be prevented.
Control your weight.
Getting to and staying at a healthy weight is important to reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of several cancers, including those of the breast (in women past menopause), colon and rectum, endometrium, esophagus, pancreas, and kidney, among others.
Be more active.
Watching how much you eat will help you control your weight. The other key is to be more physically active. Being active helps reduce your cancer risk by helping with weight control. It can also help improve your hormone levels and the way your immune system works.
More good news – physical activity helps you reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, too! So grab your athletic shoes and head out the door!
Eat healthy foods.
Eating well is an important part of improving your health and reducing your cancer risk. Take a good hard look at what you typically eat each day and try these tips to build a healthy diet plan for yourself and your family:
Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.
Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
Choose your game.
It’s important to enjoy what you’re doing so you won’t get bored or think of physical activity as a chore. To help you choose the activity that’s right for you, ask yourself these questions:
Do you like to be social, or would you prefer time to yourself?
Do you want to get away from it all or get involved?
Are you goal-oriented, or do you like to stay flexible?
“There’s a lot you can do to get well and stay well. Avoid all tobacco products, make healthy food choices, work hard to keep your weight down, be as active as you can be, and stay up to date with a trusted primary care clinician. “ -Richard Wender, MD – Chief Cancer Control Officer, American Cancer Society, Inc.
How are you doing? Take a Nutrition and Activity Quiz at: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/nutrition-activity-quiz.html