Balanced lifestyle reduces risk of cancer

2015-04-30 13:56

“DIET and leading a balanced lifestyle plays a significant role in reducing the risk of cancer,” says Elize Joubert, CEO of Cansa.

There are five key behaviours characteristic of a balanced lifestyle, which can promote health and reduce the risk of cancer:

1: Eat smart

•Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables daily

•Restrict salt as well as sugar and sugar-containing foods and drinks.

•Eat dairy products and animal protein in moderation

•Drink plenty safe, clean water

•Limit intake of processed and refined foods

2: Active, slim and trim

In South Africa there is an alarming increase in the amount of overweight and obese individuals, with more than 29% of men and 56% of women classified as being overweight or obese.

Classified as a chronic disease, obesity is associated with an increased risk for cancers.

Adults: at least 30 minutes­ of moderate to vigorous physical activity, on five or more days of the week.

Children and adolescents: at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least five days per week.

3. Avoid carcinogens

•All tobacco products are harmful

•Limit or avoid alcohol

•Stay safe in the sun, excessive ultraviolet exposure may cause skin cancer. Avoid the use of sunbeds and self- tanning products that contain melanotan.

4. Be pro-active

•Know your family history and risks

•Know your body to recognise changes, seek professional medical consultation if symptoms persist

•Have regular check-ups and screening tests for cancer

5. Keep food safe

•Always wash your hands and sanitise surfaces when handling food

•Separate raw and cooked foods when storing in the refrigerator

•Use safe water and always check expiry dates on bottled water

•Reheat cooked food thoroughly

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