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Smart moves to lower cancer risk


Your risk of cancer is influenced by many different factors— some outside your control, but some within. Diet and lifestyle are two factors you can actively manage. By developing healthier eating habits and engaging in regular physical activity, you can indeed lower your risk of cancer.

Three great paths to cancer prevention?

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Focus on eating plenty of plant-based foods.
  • Eat all colors of fruits and vegetables.

An eye on BMI

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of cancer is to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity and being overweight can lead to an increased risk of cancer and a higher risk of complications associated with cancer.

Talk to your doctor about your height-to-weight ratio and your body mass index. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9. It’s important to know that BMI does not account for body composition, so it may not be the sole indicator for a healthy weight.

Eat this, not that

Certain foods can increase the risk of digestive cancers. Red and processed meats such as steak, pork, ham, bacon, and hot dogs can all lead to trouble. Eat them in moderation.

Processed, calorie-dense foods are packed with added sugars. These can lead to weight gain, which increases your risk of developing cancer.

Limit your intake of added sugars from items such as sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts.

The best foods to lower your risk of cancer? Plant proteins—tofu, beans, quinoa, oats—and whole foods. These help you maintain a healthy weight.

Eat the rainbow

There are certain chemicals our body needs to perform cellular processes. However, when we have too many of these chemicals it can be dangerous to our cells—and this can lead to cancer.

Antioxidants—which are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains—can fight off and counteract the negative effects of these chemicals. By consuming fruits and vegetables of all colors, you’ll get the greatest number of antioxidants to reduce cancer risk.

Some good options to try include:

  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Dark chocolate
  • Kale

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