National Cancer Prevention Month

by TOI Admin February 17, 2014

Did you know that February is National Cancer Prevention Month? The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has three guidelines for cancer prevention to help you focus on what’s important.

1) Choose mostly plant foods, limit red meat and avoid processed meat.
You already know that limiting high-calorie treats is a good idea. But did you know that if you make an effort to prepare meals focused around vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, you’ll help fortify your body against cancer? That’s what AICR’s groundbreaking expert report concluded. The report also found a convincing scientific link between red and processed meats and colon cancer, so it’s a good idea to limit red meat to 18 ounces of lean cuts per week and avoid processed meats like ham, hot dogs, sausage and bacon.

2) Be physically active every day in any way for 30 minutes or more.
Remember: Every day – in any way. That means you don’t need a gym membership – you just need to get your heart pumping. Being physically active for at total of least 30 minutes a day -- whether you’re walking, vacuuming, dancing or scuba diving – will lower your risk for colon cancer and possibly several other cancers as well. You might need to get more than 30 minutes a day in order to prevent weight gain – which is very important -- but you don’t have to do it all at once. Try breaking your activity into several 15- or 20- minute sessions to fit your schedule.

3) Aim to be a healthy weight throughout life.
It’s the third key element that will help protect against chronic disease. In fact, carrying excess weight has been linked to six different types of cancer. The good news is that once you start following the first two guidelines about diet and physical activity, you’ll find it easier to accomplish this one.

To learn more about National Cancer Prevention Month, please click here.

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