The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) estimate that one-third of the most common cancers could be prevented with a healthy diet, daily activity and a lean body weight.

Protect yourself from cancer

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The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is an organization that fosters cancer prevention and then survivorship if you are diagnosed with cancer. They estimate that one-third of the most common cancers could be prevented with a healthy diet, daily activity and a lean body weight. The AICR also funds cancer research so that one day there may be a cure for most cancers.

These are the primary lifestyle guidelines for cancer prevention from the AICR:

  • Have two-thirds of your plate filled with plant foods:
    • Two cups of colorful fruits and vegetables each day.
    • Whole grains such as barley, oats, quinoa, rye, etc.
  • Enjoy small servings of lean protein such as fish, but be sure to include some meatless meals that have soy such as tofu and tempeh, nuts and nut butters, and beans for protein.
  • Use healthy oils for flavoring and cooking.
  • Limit all alcohol. It has been linked to cancers of mouth, larynx, esophagus, breast and colorectal so the AICR recommends avoiding alcohol.
  • Be careful with supplements. It is popular today to pop lots and lots of supplements but they can never replace a healthy plant-based diet. There are hundreds of beneficial substances in the foods that we eat, and you just won’t find them all neatly packaged into a pill.
  • Watch the waistline as you age. You won’t need as many calories, so cut back to maintain a lean weight. Many cancers are connected to excess weight.
  • Enjoy daily physical activity.
  • Avoid tobacco.

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About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.