By Karina Christopher, registered dietitian at the UK Markey Cancer Center
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2011) -Living a cancer-free life begins with keeping your plate full of color and including exercise as part of your daily routine.
The American Cancer Society estimates that one-third of all cancer deaths could be prevented if Americans ate a healthy, balanced diet that emphasized plant-based foods, participated in physical activity and maintained a healthy weight.
The following tips are not only good for your waistline, they're also good for preventing many common types of cancers.
-Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.They're power-packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables has been linked to a decreased risk of bladder, colon, lung, mouth, throat, esophagus, pancreas, prostate and stomach cancers. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend five to nine servings of fruits or vegetables daily.
-Include fiber in your diet every day.Fiber has been proven to reduce the risk of several cancers including colon cancer. The American Dietetic Association recommends 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams of fiber for men daily. Choose whole-wheat breads, pastas and cereals over their refined white-flour counterparts. Adding dried beans or lentils to your meals not only increases your fiber intake, they also add healthy calories and protein.
-Choose lean meats such as fish or poultry.A diet high in red meats or in processed meats such as bacon, sausage or hot dogs may increase your risk of colon cancer. Bake, broil or grill your lean meats rather than fry them. Add low-fat cheeses to meals to increase healthy calories and protein.
-Drink at least eight cups of water a day.Unsweetened tea and coffee are other options, and drinking green tea may reduce your risk of breast or prostate cancer. Low-fat milk is a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Avoid sugary drinks like soft drinks and juice cocktail. Drinks with 100 percent juice are a viable alternative but should be limited to one 8-ounce glass a day.
-Get moving.Adults should aim for 3½ to seven hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week. Any variety of physical activity counts as long as it increases your heart rate - this even includes common activities such as walking, stretching or yard work.
For more healthy eating tips for cancer patients as well as those wishing to reduce their cancer risk, check out the Markey Menu blog at UKHealthCare.uky.edu/MarkeyMenu.
Karina Christopher is a registered dietitian at UK Markey Cancer Center and runs the Markey Menu blog for UK HealthCare.
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