Cancer Nutrition

Reduce Your Risk of Developing Cancer with these Recommendations

January 3, 2019

Reduce Your Risk of Developing Cancer with these Recommendations

The World Cancer Research Fund recommends certain lifestyle changes that will potentially decrease the risk someone has of getting cancer. Backed by research and experts, these lifestyle choices are things we hear often – but the associations with cancer might get your attention. Things like achieving a healthy weight, exercising and limiting sugary drinks are just a few ways you can make an impact on your health.

Achieving a healthy weight – easier said than done for most people. With the temptations and convenience of food today, obesity rates continue to rise. However, the World Cancer Research Fund reports “greater body fatness causes many cancers”. Associations have been made between obesity and kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma and esophageal adenocarcinoma to name a few. So, what is the link? Experts believe it may have something to do with inflammation causing damage to DNA and the excess amount of hormones produced by fat cells. Adopt a balanced and realistic meal plan, you may even lose some extra pounds. Recruit support to find a sustainable plan that works long term.

Exercise – physical activity is not a new message. The average American could use a lot more exercise and movement throughout the day. Several studies have investigated the association between activity level and cancer risk, however colon cancer risk and physical activity has several studies around it. According to the National Cancer Institute “A 2009 meta-analysis of 52 epidemiologic studies that examined the association between physical activity and colon cancer risk found that the most physically active individuals had a 24% lower risk of colon cancer than those who were the least physically active”. If you are trying to get started on an exercise routine – start small. Try light walking or a beginner’s yoga class. Starting too quickly could lead to injury or burn out. Visit with your health care provider about resources that may meet your needs: apps, gyms or even a personal trainer may be a great fit. Learn about CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center’s classes.

Limit sugary beverages – sodas, juices and fancy coffees may taste great but they can lead to adverse health outcomes. To start, high amounts of carbohydrates lead to blood sugar swings and weight gain. But studies also document the association between these drinks and cancer risk. Correlations between endometrial cancer and sugary drinks were made in a 2014 article published in Cancer, Causes and Control. Web MD reports men who drank sugary juices and sodas were at a 3 times higher risk for prostate cancer.  These are just a few of the findings. Do your health a favor and try to stick to water, unsweetened tea or coffee in moderation for your beverage choices. Water is the best thirst quencher and necessary for proper organ function. Instead of fruit juices, choose whole fruits and vegetables for optimal nutrients and fiber.

While we can’t prevent every health condition from occurring; we can set ourselves up well by trying to create healthy lifestyle practices. Incorporating healthful eating and exercise habits should be at the foundation of a healthy plan. Learn more about CHI Health cancer care.

Source: Study article link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3683350/

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.

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