While there are many unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, chronic stress, frequent exposure to the sun contributing to the development of cancer, it was found that one in three cases of cancer is diet related. As an example, alcoholism may lead to liver and digestive tract cancer, while high intake of fat and protein may lead to colon, breast or prostate cancer.
Eating the right food and adopting a healthy lifestyle may well reduce the risk of cancer. Following these guidelines adopted by the American Cancer Society (ACS) are some of the first step in cancer prevention:
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
- Be as lean as possible throughout life without being underweight.
- Avoid excessive weight gain at all ages. For those who are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
- Get regular physical activity and limit intake of high-calorie foods and drinks.
Be physically active.
- Adults: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of both), preferably spread throughout the week.
- Children and teens: Get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous activity on at least 3 days each week.
- Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV and other forms of screen-based entertainment.
Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.
- Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit the amount of processed meat and red meat you eat.
- Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables and at least 2 servings of fruits each day (five servings per day)
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
If you drink alcohol, limit your intake.
- Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.
- American Cancer Society