Be more active.
Watching how much you eat will help you control your weight. The other key is to be more physically active. Being active helps reduce your cancer risk by helping with weight control. It can also help improve your hormone levels and the way your immune system works.
More good news - physical activity helps you reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, too! So grab your athletic shoes and head out the door!
The latest recommendations for adults call for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, or an equivalent combination, preferably spread throughout the week. This is over and above usual daily activities like using the stairs instead of the elevator at your office or doing housework. For kids, the recommendation is at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous intensity activity occurring at least 3 days each week.
Moderate activities are those that make you breathe as hard as you would during a brisk walk. This includes things like walking, biking, even housework and gardening. Vigorous activities make you use large muscle groups and make your heart beat faster, make you breathe faster and deeper, and also make you sweat.
It’s also important to limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching television, or other forms of screen-based entertainment.
Being more physically active than usual, no matter what your level of activity, can have many health benefits.
Mix up your protein options. Some research suggests that there may be a link between eating red meat and breast cancer. Most of the concern is about processed meats (because of high fat, salt, and nitrate levels) and beef given extra hormones and antibiotics. If you’d like to limit how much red meat you eat, vary your protein sources.
Try fish or lamb instead of beef or pork.
Have an egg white omelet for dinner.
Use beans or lentils as your main dish - try a new vegetarian chili recipe.
Opt for chicken one night a week.
Try non-nitrate turkey bacon instead of regular pork bacon.
If you drink alcohol, limit how much
People who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. The recommended limit is lower for women because of their smaller body size and slower breakdown of alcohol.
A drink of alcohol is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1? ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (hard liquor). In terms of cancer risk, it is the amount of alcohol, not the type of alcoholic drink that is important.
These daily limits do not mean it’s safe to drink larger amounts on fewer days of the week, since this can lead to health, social, and other problems.
Reducing cancer risk in our communities
Adopting a healthier lifestyle is easier for people who live, work, play, or go to school in an environment that supports healthy behaviors. Working together, communities can create the type of environment where healthy choices are easy to make.
We all can be part of these changes: Let’s ask for healthier food choices at our workplaces and schools. For every junk food item in the vending machine, ask for a healthy option, too. Support restaurants that help you to eat well by offering options like smaller portions, lower-calorie items, and whole-grain products. And let’s help make our communities safer and more appealing places to walk, bike, and be active.
Choose non-fat (skim) milk and other dairy products. But if you’re used to drinking whole milk, mix whole milk with non- or low-fat milk to ease you through the change. You may want to buy organic dairy products to get higher levels of certain nutrients, such as conjugated linoleic acid (an antioxidant) and to avoid extra hormones given to dairy cattle to increase milk production.
Avoid salt-cured, pickled, and smoked foods. They tend to have a lot of salt and nitrates, which can contribute to high blood pressure in some people.
Choose small portions (about 6 ounces cooked) of lean meat and poultry (without skin) per day. So if you eat meat twice a day, each portion should be about 3 ounces.
Bake or broil food. Decrease the amount of calories in your food by baking or broiling it rather than frying.
Cover your plate with the low-calorie foods. Fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, or beans, and one-third or less with meat and dairy products. Try spinach lasagna, vegetarian chili, or steamed or sauteed vegetables to get more vegetables in your diet.
Choose 100% juice and whole-grain breads at breakfast. While it’s better to eat whole fruit rather than drink juice, if your morning isn’t complete without it, make sure it’s 100% juice and not a blend with added sugar. Add fresh or frozen fruit to your oatmeal. Add a banana or berries to your cold cereal. If berries aren’t in season, look in the freezer section for frozen organic blueberries - they thaw in the bowl and keep your milk cold.
Eat healthy snacks. Try organic baby carrots, bell pepper strips, orange sections, fat-free yogurt, or a handful of almonds.
Eat more fiber. Besides easing constipation, fiber can help lower cholesterol and glucose levels. It also can make you feel full longer, so you’re less likely to overeat. Unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. Choose a high fiber breakfast cereal (5 or more grams of fiber per serving), or add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal. Use whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when you bake. Add kidney beans or black beans to soups and salads. Toss vegetables into pasta sauce.
Consider buying organic. There’s a real concern that chemicals used to grow food may cause health problems, including an increase in breast cancer risk. To reduce your exposure to pesticides, you might want to buy organically grown food or organically produced dairy products. Visit the Exposure to Chemicals in Food page to learn more.