Diet And Physical Activity For Cancer Prevention

In the latest guidelines update, experts from the Cancer Association revised the recommendations for preventing cancer through diet and exercise “upward.” The alcohol? Better to avoid it altogether. The movement? Starting gradually is okay, but you should aim for moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, for 300 minutes (5 hours) per week.

The Most Recent Data Combined With Common Sense

As the authors write, the indications contained in the new text have been developed by a multidisciplinary group of cancer research, prevention, epidemiology, and public health experts. They are based on the most recent data in the scientific literature. As already emerged above, the recommendations for cancer prevention in many cases are comparable to those helpful in preventing other chronic diseases and maintaining a state of general well-being. 

Watch Out For The Scales

One of the four fundamental pillars of cancer prevention relates to body weight. Experts recommend maintaining an average weight throughout life and remember that, for those who are overweight or obese, even a slight reduction in excess pounds can significantly affect cancer prevention and improvement of health

Calculating your body mass index (according to the formula weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared, or kg / m 2 ) is the first step to understanding if and how much your weight differs from the ideal one. However, the variables involved are very many, and it is therefore always a good idea to ask your doctor or a specialist for advice. “The best way to reach and maintain the ideal weight is to combine a varied and balanced diet with lots of physical activity.”

Prevention On The Plate (And In The Glass)

Daily food choices undoubtedly represent a very effective prevention tool. But what is meant by a varied and balanced diet? The document emphasizes the importance of giving priority to foods of plant origin, including foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, foods that are not too caloric to avoid dangerous weight gain, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of all colors, foods rich in fiber and whole grains. The updated version of the guidelines also pays great attention to what not to include in the diet, or at least to include minimally, with particular reference to red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and processed foods. 

However, food health also passes through the glass, so much so that the experts in this edition say it would be better to eliminate alcohol. “All alcoholic beverages increase the risk of developing cancer and other health problems. It doesn’t matter if you choose to drink beer, white or red wine, or other types of drinks,” they recall. And if you don’t want to give up, you shouldn’t exceed one drink a day for women and two for men, bearing in mind that one drink corresponds to a 33 cl can of beer, a small glass of wine, or a shot of spirits. (About 40 ml).

Active Against Cancer

Physical activity plays a significant role in prevention and general well-being. The most recent research also says this. The new guidelines reiterated for adults the need to carry out moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week (or intense physical activity for at least 75 minutes). Still, it is added that the ideal would be to double these values ​​and reach 300 minutes per week of moderate activity or 150 minutes of intense physical activity. The bar is set for children and adolescents at least 1 hour of moderate or intense physical activity per day.

At first glance, these numbers might seem unattainable to many. Still, the good news is that you don’t need to be an athlete – moderate physical activity also includes activities like brisk walking or gardening. Other examples can help us choose the exercise that suits us best and amuses us. Walking, dancing, cycling, yoga, and golf are moderate activities. On the other hand, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, martial arts, football, basketball, and tennis are intense activities. Finally, pay attention to the time spent on the sofa or at the desk: the hours spent sitting have a particularly harmful effect on the body.


Similar Articles