A healthy diet is another way many people can help prevent cancer. For people already diagnosed with cancer, eating nutritious foods also supports their treatment, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“Whether you, a parent, or friend or a child has been diagnosed, chances are, your life has been touched by cancer,” said Ethan Bergman, a Registered Dietitian and president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in a news release. “While cancer can leave us feeling helpless, the good news is there are measures you can take to prevent the disease. Your diet is one of the most important factors under your control.”
More than 1.6 million people will be diagnosed with cancer this year, according to federal health statistics. Another half-million will die from the disease. April has been designated Cancer Control Month to raise awareness and help prevent more people from getting cancer.
“Consult your physician to see if you are at risk for developing cancer, and work with a registered dietitian to build a healthful eating plan tailored to your needs, lifestyle and medical concern,” Bergman said.
The academy recommends the following tips to reduce the risk of cancer:
- Maintain a healthy weight. “The connection between cancer and obesity varies widely for different cancer types, but is as high as 40 percent for some cancers, particularly breast, colon and endometrial cancers,” the release states.
- Avoid foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. Added sugars and fats in foods make people gain weight. Replace these choices with healthy, cancer-preventing foods.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. Half of every meal should be a variety of colorful fruit and vegetables.
- Limit alcohol. Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, liver, breast, colon and rectum. Federal health authorities say men should not drink more than two alcoholic beverages daily. For women, it is one drink per day.
Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics news release, National Institutes of Health
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