The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just released a new report, and inside is some very hopeful news. According to researchers, about 340,000 cancer cases in the United States could be prevented each year if more Americans ate a healthy diet, got regular exercise, and limited their alcohol intake.
What types of cancer prevention is the WCRF talking about? They estimate that leading a healthy lifestyle could lead to 38% fewer cases of breast cancer per year, 47% fewer cases of stomach cancer and 45% fewer colon cancer cases. Pretty impressive statistics accomplished just by eating nutritious foods and getting some exercise every day.
The WCRF recommends that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity throughout the week. Don’t be discouraged by the number: you can get your quota of exercise by walking 30 minutes five times per week or by cycling to work daily, for example.
When adopting a healthy diet, stay away from anything with lots of refined sugar, processed meats, lots of saturated fat, and fried foods. Limit your intake of alcohol to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
There are lots of energy-dense foods you can eat besides reaching for that quick sugar fix. Even nuts, seeds and some vegetable oils will keep your energy levels up — and have the added benefit of containing lots of nutrients.
Evidence shows that vegetables, fruits and other foods containing dietary fiber (such as whole grains and beans) may protect against a range of cancers, including mouth, stomach and bowel cancer. They also help to protect against weight gain and obesity.
Of course, there are other healthy lifestyle habits that reduce the risk of cancer, too, and they are all worth remembering. Quitting smoking, avoiding secondhand smoke, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and preventing infections can all help protect you.
Each year, 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer, according to the WCRF.