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World Cancer Day: Eating And Lifestyle Tips For Cancer Prevention

World Cancer Day, observed every year on February 4th, is a global initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. This day unites people around the world in the fight against the cancer epidemic, emphasising the importance of early detection, education, and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cancer.

Cancer prevention is a critical aspect of reducing the global impact of the disease. While not all cancers are preventable, several lifestyle and dietary measures can significantly lower the risk of developing many types of cancer. Here are 10 tips for healthy eating and lifestyle choices that may help prevent cancer:

 

Photo by Ello on Unsplash

Healthy Eating for Cancer Prevention

 

1. Consume Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of certain types of cancer. These foods contain essential nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which can protect cells from damage. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends aiming for at least five servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day to gain the maximum health benefits, including cancer prevention. One serving of fruits or vegetables is typically considered to be 80 grams. This is roughly equivalent to a medium piece of fruit (like an apple or orange), 1 small bowl of salad leaves, or 3-4 heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables (like peas, sweetcorn, sliced cabbage, mushrooms, or runner beans).

2. Choose Whole Grains

Whole grains are packed with fibre, which not only aids digestion but also may help prevent colorectal cancer. Replace refined grains with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat. Dietary guidelines often suggest aiming for at least half of all grains consumed to be whole grains.

3. Limit Red and Processed Meat

Consuming large amounts of red meat and processed meats can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that individuals who eat red meat should consume less than 500 grams (cooked weight) per week, including beef, lamb, or pork.  Additionally, they advocate for minimal intake of processed meats to reduce cancer risk, particularly colorectal cancer. Processed meats are those that have been altered by methods such as salting, curing, fermenting, or smoking to enhance their flavour or extend their shelf life. Examples of processed meats include ham, sausages, luncheon meat, hot dogs, bacon, salami, corned beef, and beef jerky. These products often contain high levels of sodium and preservatives, including nitrates or nitrites, which have been linked to an increased risk of cancers, particularly colorectal cancer.

It is advisable to consider leaner protein sources such as skinless poultry, fish and seafoods, or plant-based proteins including tofu, legumes and lentils.

4. Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of several cancers, including breast, liver, and colorectal cancer. Limiting alcohol or avoiding it altogether can reduce these risks. Here are some tips for reducing alcohol intake:

  • Set Limits: Decide on a fixed number of drinks per week and stick to it.
  • Measure Drinks: Use standard measures to avoid overpouring.
  • Alternate Drinks: Swap alcoholic drinks with water or non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Plan Alcohol-Free Days: Choose specific days to abstain from alcohol completely.
  • Slow Pace: Sip slowly and limit yourself to one drink per hour.
  • Avoid Peer Pressure: Learn to say no and stick to your drinking goals.
  • Track Consumption: Keep a diary of your drinking to monitor intake.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a known risk factor for various types of cancer. By eating a balanced diet and controlling portion sizes, you can maintain a healthy weight, which is crucial for cancer prevention.

 

Lifestyle Choices for Cancer Prevention

 

1. Stay Physically Active

Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.

2. Avoid Tobacco

Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer worldwide. Avoiding tobacco, or deciding to quit, is one of the most important health decisions you can make.

3. Protect Yourself from the Sun

Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Use sunscreen, seek shade, and wear protective clothing to reduce your risk.

4. Get Regular Medical Care

Regular screenings can detect cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity, and skin early. Early detection is key to successful treatment and can significantly increase the chances of survival.

5. Get Vaccinated

Vaccines can protect against certain viral infections that can lead to cancer. For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps prevent most cervical cancers and several other types of cancer.

 

World Cancer Day serves as a reminder that through healthy eating and lifestyle choices, we can take actionable steps towards cancer prevention. While these tips are not a guarantee against cancer, they can significantly reduce the risk and contribute to overall health and well-being.

Remember, these guidelines are for general information purposes and should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalised recommendations.

 

世界癌症日:飲食與生活方式的癌症預防貼士

每年的2月4日,世界癌症日是由國際癌症控制聯盟(UICC)領導的全球倡議,旨在提高人們對癌症的認識,並鼓勵預防、檢測和治療癌症。這一天團結了全世界的人們共同對抗癌症流行病,強調早期檢測、教育和生活方式的改變對於降低癌症風險的重要性。

癌症預防是減少疾病全球影響的關鍵方面。雖然並非所有癌症都可以預防,但有幾種生活方式和飲食措施可以顯著降低發展許多類型癌症的風險。以下是有助於預防癌症的10個健康飲食和生活方式選擇的貼士:

癌症預防的健康飲食

 

  1. 多吃水果和蔬菜

飲食中多吃水果和蔬菜可以降低某些類型癌症的風險,這些食物含有必需的營養素和抗氧化劑,如維生素、礦物質和纖維,這些成分可以保護細胞免受損害。世界癌症研究基金會建議每天至少攝取五份不同種類的水果和蔬菜,以獲得最大的健康益處,包括預防癌症。一份水果或蔬菜通常被認為是80克,這大約相當於一個中等大小的水果(如蘋果或橙)、一細碗沙津菜、或3至4滿湯匙的熟蔬菜(如豌豆、粟米、切片椰菜、蘑菇或豆角)。

 

  1. 選擇全穀物

全穀物富含纖維,不僅有助於消化,也可能有助於預防結直腸癌。用糙米、藜麥、燕麥和全麥等全穀物取代精製穀物。飲食指南通常建議至少一半的穀物攝取應為全穀物。

 

  1. 限制紅肉和加工肉類的攝取

過量食用紅肉和加工肉類可能會增加患上結直腸癌的風險。世界癌症研究基金會建議,食用紅肉的人士每週應攝取少於500克(熟重)的紅肉,包括牛肉、羊肉或豬肉。此外,他們還建議避免吃加工肉類,以降低癌症風險,特別是結直腸癌。加工肉類是指通過鹽漬、熏制、發酵或煙燻等方法改變的肉類,以增強風味或延長保質期。加工肉類的例子包括火腿、香腸、午餐肉、熱狗、煙肉、辣肉腸、咸牛肉、牛肉乾等。這些產品通常含有高水平的鈉和防腐劑,包括亞硝酸鹽或硝酸鹽,這些都與增加癌症風險有關,特別是結直腸癌。

建議使用較瘦的蛋白質來源,如去皮家禽、魚類和海鮮,或植物性蛋白質,包括豆腐、豆類和扁豆。

 

  1. 減少飲酒

飲酒與多種癌症的風險增加有關,包括乳腺癌、肝癌和結直腸癌。限制酒精攝取或完全避免可以降低這些風險。以下是一些減少飲酒攝入的建議:

  • 設定限制:決定每週固定的飲酒數量並堅持。
  • 量度飲品:使用標準量度以避免過量倒酒。
  • 交替飲用:用水或非酒精飲料替換酒精飲品。
  • 計劃無酒日:選擇特定的日子完全不飲酒。
  • 慢速飲用:慢慢啜飲,並限制每小時一杯飲品。
  • 避免同儕壓力:學會說不,堅持你的飲酒目標。
  • 追踪消費:記錄你的飲酒日誌以監控攝取量。

 

  1. 保持健康體重

肥胖是已知的各種類型癌症的風險因素。通過飲食均衡和控制份量,您可以保持健康的體重,這對癌症預防至關重要。

 

癌症預防的生活方式選擇

 

  1. 保持身體活躍

定期的體育活動可以幫助您保持健康體重,從而降低癌症風險。每週至少進行150分鐘的中等強度有氧運動或75分鐘的劇烈運動。

 

  1. 避免使用煙草

煙草使用是全球癌症最大的可預防原因。避免使用煙草或決定戒煙是您可以做出的最重要的健康決策之一。

 

  1. 保護自己免受陽光傷害

皮膚癌是最常見的癌症類型之一,也是最可預防的。使用防曬霜,尋找陰涼處,穿著防護衣服以降低風險。

 

  1. 定期進行醫療檢查

定期篩查可以早期發現乳腺癌、結腸癌、直腸癌、子宮頸癌、前列腺癌、口腔癌和皮膚癌。早期發現是成功治療的關鍵,可以顯著提高生存機會。

 

  1. 接種疫苗

疫苗可以預防可能導致癌症的某些病毒感染。例如,人類乳頭瘤病毒(HPV)疫苗有助於預防大多數子宮頸癌和其他幾種類型的癌症。

 

世界癌症日提醒我們,通過健康的飲食和生活方式選擇,我們可以採取實際步驟預防癌症。雖然這些貼士並不能保證不患癌症,但它們可以顯著降低風險,並有助於整體健康和福祉。

請記住,這些指南僅供一般資訊之用,不能取代醫護人員的建議,請諮詢專業醫護人員以獲得個性化的建議。

 

A Wellness Self-care Guide For A Healthier 2024

As we enter the year 2024, prioritising our well-being has become more crucial than ever. Professional recommendations can help embrace a wellness self-care guide. By practising the following five recommendations on a regular basis, we can nurture our physical, mental, and emotional well-being and live a healthier life.

 

  1. Prioritise Physical Health

Taking care of our physical health is fundamental to leading a healthy life. It is recommended to engage in regular exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. You don’t have to do it all at once, it could be 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This can include activities such as brisk walking, dancing, cycling, or swimming. Incorporating strength training exercises twice a week is also beneficial for maintaining muscle strength and bone health.

 

  1. Nourish Your Body

Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for overall wellness. Focus on consuming a variety of whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages high in added sugars. Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.

 

  1. Take Care of Your Mental Well-Being

Having good mental health is a state of overall wellbeing.  Practice mindfulness and stress management techniques to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Engage in activities that bring you joy, such as hobbies, reading, or spending time with loved ones. Prioritise quality sleep by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

 

  1. Find a Work-Life Balance

In 2024, strive for a healthy work-life balance. Set boundaries between work and personal life, allowing yourself time to relax, unwind, and engage in activities that bring you happiness. Prioritise self-care activities, such as meditation, yoga, or taking breaks during the workday to recharge.

 

  1. Practise Preventive Care

Regular health check-ups and preventive care are essential for maintaining good health. Schedule routine visits with your healthcare provider, including vaccinations, screenings, and health assessments. Stay updated on latest local medical guidelines and recommendations to ensure you are taking necessary steps to prevent illness and maintain optimal health.

 

As we embark on the year 2024, embracing a wellness self-care guide is essential for living a healthier life. By prioritising physical health, nourishing our bodies, taking care of our mental well-being, finding a work-life balance, and practising preventive care, we can create a foundation for a happier and healthier future. Remember, small changes can make a significant difference in our overall well-being. Here’s to a year filled with wellness and vitality!

Healthy And Happy Holidays: Tips For Eating Right And Staying Fit During Christmas

The holiday season is a time for celebration and indulgence, but it does not mean we have to abandon our healthy eating habits. With some simple strategies, you can enjoy the festive season while still prioritising your well-being.

 

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

 

  1. Plan Ahead and Prioritize

Before the holiday season begins, take some time to plan your meals and activities. Set realistic goals and focus on maintaining rather than losing weight. Prioritize nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Fill your plate with these healthier options before reaching for the less nutritious ones.

 

  1. Practice Portion Control

During holiday gatherings, it is easy to overindulge in calorie-dense foods. Instead, practice portion control. Enjoy a small portion of your favourite treats while filling most of your plate with vegetables and lean proteins. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and avoid eating mindlessly. Slow down, savour each bite, and engage in conversations to help you become more mindful of your eating habits.

 

  1. Make Smart Substitutions

Swap out unhealthy ingredients with healthier alternatives when cooking or baking. For example, use whole wheat flour instead of refined flour, Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, or applesauce instead of oil in baked goods. Experiment with herbs, spices, and citrus flavours to enhance the taste of dishes without adding excess salt or sugar. These simple substitutions can significantly reduce calorie intake without compromising on taste and enjoyment.

 

  1. Stay Active

Physical activity is an integral part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even during the holidays. Engage in activities that you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, or playing outdoor games with family and friends. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days. Stay consistent with your exercise routine to counterbalance any extra calories consumed during holiday meals.

 

  1. Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating involves paying attention to the present moment and being fully aware of your food choices, hunger, and satiety signals. Slow down and savour each bite, appreciating the flavours and textures of the food. Minimize distractions like television or smartphones while eating to fully focus on your meal. This practice can help prevent overeating and promote a healthy relationship with food.

 

With a little planning, mindfulness, and smart choices, you can enjoy the holiday season without sacrificing your health and fitness goals. By following the above recommendations, you can savour the festive flavours while nurturing your well-being and setting a positive example for others. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!