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Reducing Your Cancer Risk

Five easy steps you can take

by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN  |  3067 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

3.) Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity is linked to cancer of the uterus, and some connections have been found with breast, colorectal, prostate, and kidney cancers. Including physical activity in your weight loss regime is also important. Regular exercise may protect against cancer by affecting hormone levels and helping to stimulate your colon to eliminate waste. Try to work in a walk each day, or enjoy some fun activities -- like biking and hiking -- with your kids.

4.) Limit alcohol intake. Excessive drinking increases your risk of liver, mouth, throat, pharynx, larynx, and esophageal cancers. For women, limit your alcohol to one drink daily; men should have a limit of two. Some research suggests that breast cancer risk may go up even with moderate drinking. If you are not a drinker, then there is no great reason to hit the bottle. If you do enjoy some wine or beer, work on decreasing the amount you drink by a third or half; skip that extra drink on your next night out.

5.) Avoid eating charred foods. Cooking meats at a high temperature (grilling, broiling, or pan-frying) cause heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to form. When fat drips onto the fire while grilling, smoke and flames cause another substance, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form. Both of these substances are potential carcinogens. If you rarely eat food cooked in this manner, then there is no need to worry. But those of you who cook in this fashion regularly, you can decrease your cancer risk by switching to lower-heat cooking methods. Using a slow-cooker, poaching or steaming fish in broth, or eating more chili, soups, and stews are excellent ways to do this!

Get regular information on cancer prevention. The American Institute for Cancer Research has a fantastic newsletter that provides cancer prevention tips and healthy recipes.

About the Author

Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian, and a columnist for Work It, Mom! and the founder of Real Living Nutrition Services, an online weight loss program that empowers people to make small changes s

Read more by Meri Raffetto RD, LDN

2 comments so far...

  • Solid advice: common sense and easily followed. I enjoy my veggies; now if only I could convince the rest of the family of their flavor and value!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Daisy on 26th January 2008

  • Thanks for the reminders!
    I've been working on eating more fruits and vegetables but find it difficult some days, especially when eating at certain restaurants. When I started running a couple of years ago, I became more interested in a healthier diet and started eating a little better.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by April Mims, Career Coach on 23rd January 2008