Prevent Cancer by Eating Right

Reviewed by Wendy Marcason, RDN
Salad, Vegetables - Prevent Cancer by Eating Right

Did you know you can reduce your risk of cancer? More than 1.5 million people in the United States get cancer each year, and research shows that many of these cases could be prevented.

While cancer prevention is still being researched, we do know your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make. In fact, new research shows as many as one-third of all cancer deaths are linked to diet and physical activity. Besides quitting smoking, some of the most important things you can do to help reduce your cancer risk are eating right, being physically active on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy weight throughout life.

Here are some general guidelines to help reduce your cancer risk through eating right.

  • Eat less foods that are high in calories and fat and low in nutrients. Foods with added sugars and fats can cause weight gain and leave little room for more healthful, cancer-preventive foods. You can still enjoy the foods you love, just eat smaller portions of high-calorie foods.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables including beans, which are linked with a lower risk of certain cancers. Fill half your plate each meal with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit alcohol. Evidence suggests all types of alcoholic drinks may increase your risk of breast, pancreatic and other forms of cancer. If you drink at all, limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one drink daily for women and two for men.

For more tips on reducing your risk or managing diseases through nutrition, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.

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