Diet, Physical Activity and Your Breast Cancer Risk
By: Brandy (Korman) Haslam
We all know that eating healthy and staying active is super important, but how much do daily habits like diet and exercise affect your cancer risk? Much more than you probably think, say researchers.
Every year more than 572,000 Americans die of cancer and about one-third are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and carrying too much weight (American Cancer Society, 2012).
Controlling your weight is important because excess weight can cause the body to produce and circulate more estrogen and insulin, which are hormones that can stimulate cancer growth.
Although you can’t prevent cancer 100%, there are things you can do to reduce your risk.
If you’re not currently at a healthy BMI, set a goal for yourself to get in a healthy range. You can calculate your BMI here to see what range you are currently in and where you should be.
Being physically active on a daily basis and making healthy food choices will help you get to a normal body weight.
Experts say that at least 30 minutes of cardio on a regular basis is a good start for beginners who want to lose weight.
Watching what you eat and reading food labels will help you eliminate some of the high-calorie, high-fat foods that pack on pounds. Try to eliminate processed foods, foods with high sugar and simple carbs as well as those with trans-fat.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, try switching to whole grain foods like brown rice, wheat bread or whole grain pasta as they provide more nutrients and are made of healthier complex carbs.