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Every day, you can make cancer-fighting choices!

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Every day, you can make cancer-fighting choices!

In a given day, there’s a lot we can’t control, like the weather and traffic. And there’s a lot that we can. What we do — and don’t do — on a regular basis adds up and can influence our long-term health, including our risk of cancer. A recent report from the World Cancer Research Fund details the top lifestyle habits for preventing cancer, based on a decade’s worth of research. See how well your daily habits match the recommendations. If you’ve got them all down, keep at it! If you have a few areas to work on, focus on one at a time, but avoid the “all or nothing” mentality. Remember, for example, that some exercise and veggies are a whole lot better than none. Like Rome, a health-supporting lifestyle isn’t built in a day. But it’s well worth building!

Move more and sit less. Physical activity protects against several types of cancer. Work up to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, every week.

Eat plants. Vegetables, fruit, legumes like lentils and beans, and whole grains can protect against some types of cancer and help you maintain a healthy weight, which is itself protective. Make these foods staples of your daily diet.

Minimize “fast,” processed, and sugary food. Fast food, processed food, and baked goods have been stripped of nutrients and fiber, and they tend to be loaded with sugar, fat, and calories. That’s a bad formula for your health, including your risk of cancer.

Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight has been linked to many types of cancer. Keep your BMI in the normal range with a plant-based diet and regular physical activity.

Limit red and processed meat. Eating red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and processed meats like bacon and salami has been shown to cause colon cancer. Limit your consumption of red meat and avoid processed meat as much as possible.

Choose food over supplements. Don’t rely on high-dose dietary supplements for cancer prevention; get your nutrients from food.

Minimize alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol increase your risk of cancer. If you do drink, be sure to stay within national guidelines (no more than one drink a day for women, two for men).