One of my favorite days as a health expert has to be the first Saturday of every month. I break the boring monotony of my strict diet and dive in with a large glass of whole milk and 9 chocolate with white icing cupcakes stacked in a pyramid. Passersby look at me in shock, awe, and sometimes disgust as I scarf down my so-bad-it’s-good lunch.
What these spectators don’t know is that I am a strong advocate of preventions for cancer diets and 99% percent of the time, my normal day consists of extremely healthy meals, cardio exercise, and strength training. I am 6’00”, 180 lbs, 4% body fat. My blood work? Immaculate. So how do I do it and what are some preventions for cancer we can all take to decrease our risk for cancers?
I have listed 3 major preventions for cancer and guidelines stated by the American Cancer Society and Center for Disease Control. My hope is that this awareness will encourage people to make better choices and influence others so we can all continue to live a long and healthy life.
A Healthy Diet
“You mean I can never have bacon again!?” No, that is not the case. Personally I LOVE bacon, and I will never stop eating bacon, but this is something I only eat on occasion and in low quantities. Three strips are enough for me!
It is important to regulate both the quantity and frequency of indulging in our favorite foods. A great way to begin this new cancer prevention lifestyle is to start eating more meals with whole grains, raw veggies, and fruits most of the time. It’s also important to eat less red meat and fewer meals that are processed, fried, or that contain white flour.
To help prevent overeating, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from ingredients that increase your appetite like sodium (which most restaurants pack into their dishes) and eat more high fiber foods, which can easily satisfy your hunger with very few calories. High fiber foods like beans, peas, and raspberries are a great way to prevent colon cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Eating right coupled with regular exercise lets us taste our favorite forbidden fruits on occasion without much consequence. Just remember, quantity and frequency!
Adopt a Physical, Active Lifestyle
Poor diet and an inactive lifestyle are major avoidable risk factors for cancer, second only to smoking. Now, being physically active doesn’t mean you need to run marathons. The key is to maintain a good steady heart rate that is appropriate for your age and health for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
Engaging in activities like gardening, speed walking, bicycling, and virtually any sport are great ways to keep active without it feeling like you’re actually exercising. This is important to understand because many people think exercise has to feel like work. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Exercise can be fun, and don’t be afraid to let it be!
Note: Men older than 40,women older than 50, and people with chronic illnesses or cardiovascular risk factors should talk to their doctors before engaging in a regular, vigorous physical activity program.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Food: Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it safe.
If you’ve tried more diets than you can remember, then a simple “Just stop eating as much and go to the gym” isn’t going to cut it.
For a lot of people, eating is a coping skill or a transfer from another addiction, or both. This is why a simple diet just won’t work. Therapy needs to be introduced by starting on the inside and changing the way we think about food, and then working our way out. Once we have control of our eating habits we can then engage in a healthy, low-calorie diet and a regular exercise program. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall physical and mental health.
Obesity contributes to 20% of all cancer-related deaths, so it’s time to take action. Please check out the body mass index to see guidelines for healthy weights at your height.
Fact: Excess weight is associated with an increased risk for cancer of the breast, colon, esophagus, and kidney.
I hope these preventions for cancer guidelines will encourage you to take action and start a new, healthy lifestyle. By following these guidelines, you will not only increase your longevity, but you will also begin to feel better about yourself and have a more positive outlook on your life. This article is available for reprint for your website and newsletter, provided that you maintain its copyright integrity and include the signature tag.