Often in the media we hear of new high-tech “cures” for cancer that “show promise.”
Unfortunately, there’s usually no strong science yet. It’s just “promise.”
What scientists do know, what volumes of studies have confirmed over the past three decades, is that prevention plays a huge role in the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society states that one-third of the 500,000 annual cancer deaths in the United States are due to unhealthy diets and lack of exercise that lead to excess weight and obesity. Another third of cancer deaths is from cigarette smoking.
To help you do everything you can for preventing cancer, the physicians, registered dietitians, psychologists and exercise physiologists at Pritikin offer the following 13 lifestyle-related recommendations. By making simple changes in some of your daily habits, you can greatly increase the odds of living a cancer-free life.
- Stay smoke free.
- Maintain a desirable body weight. (Healthy BMI range is 18.5 to 24.9.)
- Eat at least 9 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Eat at least 6 servings of a variety of high-fiber whole grains, beans, and starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and yams.
- Avoid fatty animal products, especially marbled red meat; eliminate saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, and trans fatty acids.
- Ensure adequate intake of essential fats (good sources are fish, leafy greens, walnuts, and flaxseeds).
- Decrease or eliminate your intake of all vegetable oils.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol to no more than 4 drinks weekly for women, and no more than 7 drinks weekly for men.
- Limit your consumption of highly salted, pickled, smoked, or fermented foods.
- Maintain a regular exercise program.
- Have regular medical check-ups, including colonoscopies, PSA tests for men, and mammograms and pap smears or HPV tests for women.
- Avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
- Avoid chemical carcinogens.