March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month! Want some tips to help reduce your risk of developing colon cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the links between diet, weight, exercise, and colorectal cancer are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.
In fact, less than 10% of colon cancers are due to family history. Yes! It is estimated that 50-75% of colorectal cancer can be prevented through making healthy lifestyle choices.
Crazy right? Who knew that we had so much more control over our health and wellness! Your DNA is definitely NOT your destiny!
Follow These 5 Tips & Decrease Your Colorectal Cancer Risk
Tip #1: Make Healthy Dietary Choices
Think Rainbow – eat lots of fruits and vegetables that contain all colors – red, orange, blue, etc. These contain high amounts of fiber – known to decrease your risk of colorectal cancer and keep you regular, as well as high amounts of antioxidants, which help in cancer prevention. Stay tuned for my tasty Berry Breakfast Recipe in next week’s blog post.
Decrease Your Intake of Red Meats and Processed Meats. According to the ACS, your risk of colon cancer is increased by 15-20% if you eat 100 grams of red meat (the size of a small hamburger) or 50 grams (one hot dog) of processed meats. Try to limit yourself to about two 4-ounce servings of red meat per week. Avoid sausage, bacon and hot dogs. This is due to the preservatives in these processed meats, which increase the risk of cancer.
Stop The Sugar: Foods high in sugar have lots of calories that lead to high blood sugar levels (diabetes), weight gain and obesity, not to mention many other conditions
Fill Up With Fiber: Did you know that as high as 95% of Americans don’t get anywhere near enough fiber in their diet?
Get Your Grains: Choose whole grains like barley, quinoa, wild and brown rice, and oatmeal. Refined grains don’t contain the beneficial elements that whole grains do, such as, more vitamins, minerals, fiber and essential fatty acids.
There are absolutely no health benefits associated with smoking- only negative risks for developing various conditions. If you smoke, please find a smoking cessation plan and stop smoking.
Tip #4: Hit the Gym
If you don’t want to hit the gym, try a walk around your neighborhood. Getting a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (interval walking, cycling, swimming) decreases your risk for colon cancer and helps against diabetes and heart disease.
Tip #5: Limit the Alcohol
For women, one drink a day and for men, two drinks a day is the recommended limit for imbibing of your alcoholic beverages.