Did You Know?
Cancer is the second leading cause of illness and death in the United States. While some cancers may run in families, other forms of the disease may be more closely linked to environmental factors and lifestyle. According to the American Cancer Society, one-third of all cancer deaths may be attributed to poor diet, excess weight and inactivity -- all factors that are within our control. The American Dietetic Association emphasizes that since some cancer risk factors are controllable, the best preventative measure is to keep cancer from starting in the first place. Managing diet and exercise are two important ways to help prevent certain cancers. The American Cancer Society and the American Dietetic Association offer the following preventative measures:
  • Eat a variety of healthful foods with an emphasis on plant sources.
  • Choose lots of grains and legumes. A diet rich in fiber and low in fat may offer protection from certain cancers such as colon cancer. Fiber-rich choices include barley, oats, whole wheat, dried beans, dried peas and lentils.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Aim for at least 5 servings each day. For fruit and vegetable juice lovers, choose those that are made with 100% juice. Limit French fries, snack chips and other fried vegetable products.
  • Go easy on the fat. While fat consumption is a risk factor for heart disease, the fact is, a diet high in fat, especially saturated fat found in animal products such as red meat can also be a risk factor for certain types of cancers such as breast, colon and prostate. When eating red meats, try leaner cuts and smaller portions. Consider choosing beans, fish and poultry instead of red meat for some meals.
  • Watch alcohol consumption and remember moderation is the key.
  • Move, move, move! The American Cancer Society recommends that adults engage in at least moderate activity (such as walking, dancing or leisurely bicycling) for a minimum of 30 minutes on five or more days each week. The Society recommends that children and adolescents engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least five days each week.
Here's to a healthful and delicious 2004!