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Dietary habits and cancer


There are many risk factors that can lead to the development of cancer. Some risk factors are not within control, such as inherited genes or family history, however many are controllable and if avoided can drastically lessen the likelihood of developing cancer. A vital way  to prevent cancer is by practicing healthy dietary habits and maintaining a good weight. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one-third of all cancer deaths are attributed to poor diet, lack of regular exercise and obesity.


Dietary Habits and Cancer

Scientific research and studies have proven that certain dietary practices directly correlate with developing diseases over time, such as cancer. The risk of developing cancer, namely cancers of the lung, mouth, esophagus, stomach, digestive tract, and head and neck can be averted when a diet is consistently rich in fruits and vegetables. On the contrary, eating foods high in saturated fats, such as red meat, are linked to specific cancers such as gastrointestinal cancers.

Overweight and obesity have been associated with greater risk for cancers of the breast, colon and rectum, endometrium, kidney, pancreas, and esophagus.

Food Intake

In order to manage a nutritious lifestyle, it is important to understand how foods are prepared and processed. Moreover, maintaining a well-balanced diet should consist of consuming a variety of foods, reducing food portions and eating wholesome plant foods every day.

It is important to always be conscientious of your food choices when achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

10 tips for eating healthy:

  • Eat wholesome plant foods
  • Avoid or limit the intake of red meats and processed meats with added preservatives
  • Consume a variety of plant foods including vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains. The less these plant foods are processed or cooked, the greater you will benefit from their nutrients
  • Increase fiber consumption which will help to clean the digestive tract before cancer causing cells can develop
  • Avoid or reduce the intake of bad fats, like saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products such as red meat, milk, cheese, butter, ghee, and eggs. Trans fats are processed vegetable fats that are hydrogenated to help preserve them
  • Consume unsaturated fats or good fats like nuts and avocados or cook with olive oil
  • Limit eating fried foods and packaged foods
  • Often eat fish that is prepared in a healthy way
  • Drink at least two litres of water every day
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic drinks

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