Nutrition-Bites-Healthy-Lifestyle-for-Cancer-Prevention

Nutrition Bites: Healthy Lifestyle for Cancer Prevention

With one-third of all cancer deaths related to poor diet and physical activity, it’s no surprise that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key to cancer prevention. In fact, when asked the number one way to prevent cancer, Laura Kerns, a Registered Dietitian at University Medical Center and Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition, keeps it simple, “Eat your fruits and vegetables! Research shows that consuming a plant-based diet with healthy fats, similar to the Mediterranean diet, is best for preventing cancer of all types.” Here’s how to incorporate the American Institute for Cancer Research cancer prevention guidelines into your lifestyle. Set a goal each month to adopt one of these guidelines below, and continue adding them throughout the year so you can gradually build up your healthy habits.

1. Maintain a healthy body weight
A healthy body weight is defined as a BMI between 18-24.9 for adults. Obesity is related to several types of cancers and contributes to 1 out of 5 cancer related deaths. To find out your BMI, visit www.choosemyplate.gov/tools-BMI.

2. Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, limit sedentary behaviors
Strength training exercises should be incorporated 2 days per week, and cardio activity should be moderate (walking or dancing) to vigorous (jogging or cycling).

3. Avoid sugary drinks, limit energy-dense foods
Liquid calories from sugary drinks can add up quickly. Avoiding soda, energy drinks, and fruit flavored beverages is the best way to keep off extra pounds. Similarly, energy-dense foods, like chips, cookies, and cake have a lot of calories but offer little to no nutrition. Focus on drinking water and consuming energy-dense foods in moderation.

4. Eat a plant-based diet including a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, and legumes such as beans and lentils
Research clearly highlights the benefits of consuming a plant-based diet containing a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, and legumes. Not only are these foods low calorie, low fat, and high fiber, they also contain antioxidants. Antioxidants have been found to reduce the risk for cancer by protecting healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive cells produced through everyday activities, such as breathing and physical activity, or lifestyles choices, such as smoking. They may react with and cause damage to cell membranes and DNA which increases the risk for cancer. Antioxidants can be found in the following foods:
o Vitamin E – vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products
o Vitamin C – citrus fruits, strawberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes
o Carotenoids – tomatoes, carrots, spinach, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli

5. Limit red meat to no more than twice per week, and limit processed meat as much as possible
Red meat, such as beef and pork, is higher in cholesterol than most other meat. Elevated cholesterol can lead to many other health issues, like cardiovascular disease or stroke, as well as obesity. Similarly, most processed meats, such as ham, bacon and hot dogs, contain cancer-causing nitrites.

6. Cut back on alcohol consumption – no more than 1 drink per day for women, no more than 2 drinks per day for men
It is important to note that 1 drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1 ½ ounces of liquor.

7. Limit salty foods and foods processed with salts, like canned foods
High sodium intake of more than 2400 mg per day can cause harm to the lining of the stomach, causing stomach cancer. Choose “reduced sodium” or “no salt added” canned foods. For other items, look for low sodium indicated by 5% or less of sodium per serving on the nutrition label.

8. Do not use supplements to prevent cancer
While supplements and other products may seem like an easy way to get vitamins and minerals into the diet, research has shown that whole-foods offer the best protection from cancer.

9. When possible, exclusively breastfeed for up to 6 months
By lowering the cancer-related hormones in the mother’s body, breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer while offering the best nutrition for the child.

10. If a cancer survivor, follow the recommendations for cancer prevention
For more cancer prevention tips, check out The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and The American Institute for Cancer Research.

By Kelsey Rosenbaum MS, RD, LDN

(Nutrition Bites is a recurring feature that appears regularly in the Tulane PRC’s e-newsletters and covers nutrition and health tips from Kelsey Shanklin, MS, RD, LDN. If you have any suggestions for Nutrition Bites topics, please contact Naomi Englar at nking2@tulane.edu or 504-988-7410.)

Topics:   diet , nutrition , food environment , food marketing , health communication

Other Related Posts

Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

As I am sure most of our readers know by now, the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) will not be funded for another five years. This is very sad news for all of us here at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, but I am sure it is just as saddening for those of you who have worked with us and partnered with us for the past 20 years. Yes, the PRC has…

Read More

Health-Racism-and-Communication-Seminar-Series

Health, Racism, and Communication Seminar Series

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Starting this month, Tulane PRC will co-host the Spring 2019 Health, Racism, and Communication Seminar Series in collaboration with The Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health (CEMCH) and The Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Women’s Community Health Education Center (MAC).  This seminar series works to educate attendees about communicating the influence of racism on health. 
 On Tuesday, March 19, Nicole Deggins, CNM, MSN, MPH, Founder and Director of Sista Midwife Productions will address Social…

Read More

Associations-Between-Neighborhood-Park-Quality-and-Usage-Findings-from-a-Tulane-PRC-Study-

Associations Between Neighborhood Park Quality and Usage: Findings from a Tulane PRC Study

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

In efforts to better understand factors that may impact physical activity levels of people in their neighborhoods, a study was done through the PRC to evaluate park quality and usage in lower income African American neighborhoods in New Orleans.   Based on prior research, neighborhoods have been classified as an important social determinant of health. “Neighborhood environments can play a role in one’s decision to engage in physical activity. Prior research has shown that lower…

Read More

Community-Partners-Update

Community Partners Update

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association (February 16th, 2019) On February 16th, the Bunny Friend Neighborhood Association hosted a green infrastructure workshop in partnership with Water Wise Gulf South at St. Mary of the Angel’s Church. The Green Infrastructure 101 Water Wise Workshop taught community members “do-it-yourself” solutions to reduce flooding while leaving the neighborhood looking beautiful. The event provided refreshments and raffle prizes, including rain barrels and a home assessment for Upper 9th Ward residents. Infrastructure…

Read More

Legislative-Update

Legislative Update

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

New Orleans Food Policy Committee is very pleased with the changes recommended by the City Planning Commissions Small Box Store Study. The recommended changes make it much more accessible for residents to access fresh food while also giving food businesses and farmers an economic boost. For more information or to read through the report, check out the City Planning Commissions website or click here While the entire document is very interesting, the recommendations begin on…

Read More

Staff-Update-David-Roston

Staff Update: David Roston

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

We are excited to share that David Roston is the new Communications and Disseminations Coordinator for the Tulane PRC. David graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Michigan with a degree in Screen Arts & Cultures and Master’s of Public Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. David has an extensive history of working on local and international documentary films and is interested in fusing arts and media…

Read More

Active-Steps-Avoiding-the-March-Fall-Out

Active Steps: Avoiding the "March Fall Out"

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

The start of the New Year is often seen as a time to revamp and refocus one’s attention and time on health and exercise. Unfortunately, most people fall into a so-called ‘March fall-out’ after just a few weeks of hard work at the gym. According to the Washington Post, gym attendance significantly increases in the December, January, and February months, but starts to decrease in just a few weeks leading into March. Luckily, there are…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Mindful-Eating

Nutrition Bites: Mindful Eating

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Most of the population eats to eat. We are good at it, we know we need to eat in order to fuel our day, but rarely do we spend the time to savor and dissect what is being put into our mouths. Junk food and fast food are not layered with flavor and texture. They do not excite our pallet with new variety. Eating on the go leads to mindless eating and lacks emotional investment…

Read More

Nutrition-Bites-Grocery-Delivery-Service-Can-Save-You-Money

Nutrition Bites: Grocery Delivery Service Can Save You Money!

Education & Engagement

Published: March 18, 2019

Grocery store shopping can be exhausting with multiple rounds of loading and unloading groceries. Plus, the amount of time doubles when you go at the grocery store rush hour from 5-7 PM. No wonder Amazon had an estimated 18% share of online grocery delivery in 2017 with their new acquisition of Whole Foods. The future of grocery stores and how we shop is rapidly changing. Let’s talk about the perks of this method as well…

Read More

Tulane-dietetic-interns-gain-insightful-skills-in-nutrition-and-community-based-programs

Tulane dietetic interns gain insightful skills in nutrition and community-based programs

Education & Engagement

Published: December 18, 2018

This fall, 20 Tulane Dietetic Internship students gained first-hand research and health promotion experience in partnership with Tulane Prevention Research Center and local community organizations. The Dietetic Internship is a 10-month long, non-degree program offered at Tulane University that focuses on community health best practices, health promotion, and disease prevention for students seeking to become registered dieticians. As part of the Dietetic Internship, students completed a rotation with the Tulane PRC. During this time, students…

Read More

canary