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Dietary Guidelines - Cancer
Food and Diet Advice to Reduce Risk of Cancer
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Diet Food & Eating Habits to Reduce Risk of Cancer

Dietary Guidelines - Cancer

Diet, Weight, Lifestyle and Cancer

Healthy weight, diet and especially diet nutrition are all important elements in the fight against cancer. Diet and cancer experts are beginning to identify more and more phyto-chemicals (from plants) and other micro-nutrients which may reduce cancer. Alongside smoking and exposure to sunlight - obesity, unhealthy food choices and bad diet are now major causes of some cancers.

Dietary Advice on Cancer - World Cancer Research Fund

The following is the "Advice to Individuals" presented in the report, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. Based on an analysis of more than 4,500 research studies, these dietary, weight lifestyle guidelines present some of the best advice currently available on actions to take for lower cancer risk.

Recommendation 1 (Dietary Guideline)
Choose predominantly plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, beans and peas, and minimally processed starchy staple foods.

Recommendation 2 (Weight Control)
Avoid being underweight or overweight and limit weight gain during adulthood to less than 5kg (11 pounds).

Recommendation 3 (Exercise and Fitness)
If occupational activity is low or moderate, take an hour's brisk walk or similar exercise daily, and also exercise vigorously for a total of at least one hour in a week.

Recommendation 4 (Dietary Guideline)
Eat 400-800 grams (15-30 ounces) or five or more portions (servings) a day of a variety of vegetables and fruits, all year round.

Recommendation 5 (Dietary Guideline)
Eat 600-800 grams (20-30 ounces) or more than seven portions (servings) a day of a variety of cereals (grains), beans and peas, roots, tubers and plantains. Minimally processed foods are preferable. Limit consumption of refined sugar.

Recommendation 6 (Dietary Guideline)
Alcohol consumption is not recommended. If consumed, limit alcoholic drinks to less than two drinks a day for men and one for women.

Recommendation 7 (Dietary Guideline)
If eaten at all, limit intake of red meat to less than 80 grams (3 ounces) daily. It is preferable to choose fish, poultry and meat from non-domesticated animals in place of red meat.

Recommendation 8 (Dietary Guideline)
Limit consumption of fatty foods, particularly those of animal origin. Choose modest amounts of appropriate vegetable oils.

Recommendation 9 (Dietary Guideline)
Limit consumption of salted foods and use of cooking and table salt. Use herbs and spices to season foods.

Recommendation 10 (Dietary Guideline)
Use refrigeration and other appropriate methods to preserve perishable foods as purchased and at home.

Recommendation 11 (Dietary Guideline)
Do not eat charred food. For meat and fish eaters, avoid burning of meat juices. Consume the following only occasionally: Meat and fish grilled (broiled) in direct flame; cured and smoked meats.

Recommendation 12 (Dietary Guideline)
For those who follow the recommendations presented here, dietary supplements are probably unnecessary, and possibly unhelpful, for reducing cancer risk.

Recommendation 13 (Lifestyle Advice)
Do not smoke or chew tobacco.


Dietary Guidelines For Lower Cancer Risk

  • Choose a diet rich in a variety of plant- based foods.
  • Include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
  • Select foods low in fat and salt.
  • Prepare and store foods safely.
  • DO NOT smoke or use tobacco in any form.


Dietary Guidelines and Cancer - Please Note

1. Plant-Based Diet = Core Dietary Recommendation

The consumption of a predominantly plant-based diet is the primary recommendation of the report.

Evidence suggests that this change in eating pattern, when matched with regular physical exercise and the avoidance of tobacco, decreases cancer risk by as much as 70%.

AICR has recommended changes that will indicate a shift in emphasis from reducing fat consumption to increasing consumption of vegetables and fruit.

2. Difference Between Cancer Dietary Guidelines and Official US Dietary Guidelines

The American Institute for Cancer Research considers it beneficial for the official US dietary guidelines to reflect a shift in emphasis from reducing fat consumption to increasing consumption of vegetables and fruit.

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and its international affiliate the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

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