October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everyday choices can have a big impact on our health, even in preventing cancer. Lifestyle changes you start now can really make a difference over time. Things like healthy eating, increasing physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight all play a part in cancer prevention.
Follow these recommendations for cancer prevention from the American Institute of Cancer Research:
- Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight. Maintaining a healthy weight can be a large factor in preventing cancer but also in preventing or managing other chronic diseases. A healthy BMI is 19-24. Find out what your BMI is here.
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Limit sedentary habits. Don’t have time for 30-60 minutes of exercise? Break it up into shorter sessions more times per day. For example, walk for 10 minutes after meals. Just get up and move more!
- Avoid sugar sweetened beverages like soda, juice, sports and energy drinks.
- Limit high calorie foods.
- Get more fiber! Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
- Limit red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
- If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
- Limit salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium). Choose foods with 200mg of sodium per serving or less on the Nutrition Facts Label.
- Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.
- It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods.
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco
Get started now! It’s never too late to make positive changes that will improve your health, you can do it!