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Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle for Cancer Prevention
There are many factors that can influence the development and reoccurrence of cancer. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding too much body fat may help our bodies resist cancer. These healthy diet and lifestyle changes may also
help prevent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems.
Eat a “Plant-Based Diet”
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. Use different vegetables to fill at least ½ of your plate. Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients called phytochemicals that may help protect against cancer and other diseases. Because different fruits and vegetables contain different types of these protective nutrients, it is important to eat a variety so you benefit from all of them.
Choose whole grains.
Whole grains contain more fiber and more nutrients than refined grains. Choose 100% whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, popcorn, and whole-grain corn and barley.
Eat less meat—especially less red meat and processed meats.
Limit the amount of red meat (beef, pork and lamb) you eat to no more than 18 ounces (cooked) per week. Avoid or eat very little processed meats such as sausage, bacon, ham, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami, pastrami, bologna, deli/luncheon meats
and corned beef.
Fried or grilled meats, poultry, and fish can form cancer-promoting substances. Avoid or eat very little deep-fat fried and fried foods. To make grilled meats, poultry, and fish safer to eat:
Trim the fat before cooking.
Marinate before cooking.
Partially precook to decrease grilling time.
Keep away from direct contact with flames and smoke.
Grill longer at a lower heat in order to reduce smoke and blackening. Limit salt intake.
Instead of using salt to season your food, use seasonings such as garlic, basil, turmeric, dill, thyme, ginger, paprika, and salt-free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash. Many herbs and spices also contain protective phytochemicals. 1
Limit sugary drinks and high fat/ high sugar desserts and snack foods.
Quench your thirst with water instead of sugary soft drinks or coffee drinks. Snack on raw vegetables and fruits. Save desserts and snack foods for special treats – do not eat them every day.
Limit Alcohol
If you drink alcohol, limit alcoholic beverages to no more than 2 per day for men and no more than 1 per day for women. Be Physically Active.
Exercise almost every day.
Get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. You can do this by exercising 30 minutes at least 5 days each week. Types of moderate exercise include brisk walking, dancing, bicycling, and mowing the lawn.
Limit Physical Inactivity.
Limit TV, computer, and other screen-time to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting. If you need to be on a computer during the work day, take short walks whenever you can.
Maintain a Healthy Weight.
Being as lean as possible (without being underweight) may reduce your risk for many types of cancer. Eating a lower-fat, plant-based diet, controlling portions, and being physically active can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Don’t use dietary supplements to lower your cancer risk.
Don’t be misled by claims of “magical” pills, vitamins, supplements, and products marketed to reduce the risk of cancer. The best plan is to get your protective nutrients from eating whole foods – not pills or special juices. Get your nutrition information from reliable sources.
Information on the internet is not regulated, so it may not be up-to-date or accurate. Be especially cautious about any website that is trying to sell something. Mount Carmel registered dietitians have reviewed and recommend these websites for reliable information about nutrition and cancer.
American Cancer Society
American Institute for Cancer Research
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
(Formerly the American Dietetic Association)
Rev.8/07, 11/10, 7/13 \\mcehemcshare\Netit Patient Education$\Mount Carmel Handouts\Cancer\Cancer and Nutrition\Nutritionand Healthy Lifestyle for Cancer Prevention.doc for Cancer Prevention.doc
© Mount Carmel 2013