Nutrition and Cancer-What you Need to Know

According to the CDC (center for Disease Control), cancer is currently the second leading cause of death in our country  (https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/cancer.htm) and the number one killer in over 20 States in the USA.

Known risk factors include lifestyle choices such as diet, activity, tobacco and alcohol, exposure to environmental toxins and genetics. Today’s article will discuss the newest, and in my opinion, most targeted recommendations by the American Cancer Society that may help you reduce your risk for developing cancer.  Earlier interventions appear to make the biggest difference.

Here’s what you need to know

Weight: 

Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. If overweight, set small goals. 5-10% weight loss can make a difference.

Activity:

  1. Adults are advised to get 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. Getting more than 300 minutes is best.
  2. Children and teens are encouraged to get at least one hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity daily.

Spending less time on phones, computers, tablets and reducing time playing video games and watching TV will free up time to accomplish this.  Choose activities that you enjoy.

Diet:

  1. Focus on a diet consisting of colorful vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes
  2. Avoid/limit red meats such as beef, lamb and pork
  3. Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs, salami, bacon, sausage and deli meats
  4. Avoid or limit sugar-sweetened beverages
  5. Avoid highly processed foods and refined (enriched) grain products.
  6. Avoid alcoholic beverages

Other experts concur. Dr Michael Gregor, author of “How Not to Die” (https://nutritionfacts.org/book/), also recommends organic and fermented soy items (tofu, miso, tempeh, edamame), flaxseeds and fiber.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman suggests a G-BOMB approach. G is for greens, B is for beans (legumes), O is for onions, M is for mushrooms and B is for berries. Both these approaches support a whole food, plant-based diet. Consider taking the 4Leaf Survey (https://pattywalkerrd.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/4leaf-std-survey-2019.pdf ) to see how close you are to eating the best diet to help you reduce your cancer risk.

These recommendations may seem a bit overwhelming and to some, perhaps, unrealistic. Yet, they are evidenced-based and the direction we need to head.  If you agree, and need support, I am here to help.

Let’s win the war on cancer together.

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Patty Walker RD LD CDE CLT

Patty is proud to serve her community’s nutritional needs for over 35 years.  WIth deep knowledge in nutrition for diabetes as well as passion for plant-based diets, Patty supplies nutritional keys to unlock health by getting to the root of disease and helping others set a course for optimizing health. In addition to coaching individual clients and teaching classes, Patty provides education seminars to local businesses, writes monthly nutrition articles, is a key educator for the Lions Club’s Diabetes-Reduction Initiative and hosts “Nutritional Wisdom” cable show on WCTV. The goal is to reach as many people in my community that I possibly can with the truth about the power of nutrition and healthy living.

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