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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Eating To Prevent Cancer

Cancer is scary because we don’t always know why people get it. Over the years, cancer prevalence has increased greatly, and that’s partially because of lifestyle behaviors that we as a nation have adopted. Although cancer may occur because of things we can’t avoid such as genetics and exposure to toxins, researchers believe that nearly 60 precent of cases are due to lifestyle factors. Hoping to decrease your risk of developing cancer? Follow these healthy guidelines to maintain your best self.

  • Get adequate sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours per night.
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise at least 30-60 minutes each day
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Increase water intake
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Improve overall food habits

As expected, food intake is a vital part of maintaining health and preventing cancer risk. To get the most benefit from your food choices limit foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt, limit consumption of red meat, and avoid processed meats.

For foods you should include, focus on fresh, whole foods free of added chemicals and preservatives. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans, while incorporating small amounts of meat. Aim to fill two thirds of your plate with plant-based foods, and one third with lean meat.

Focus on Fruit

Fill your day with high antioxidant fruits such as pomegranate, berries, apples, and citrus. Try blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, tangerines, pomegranate, papaya and grapefruit.

Vary Your Veggies

Get a variety of nutrients through an assortment of colorful vegetables. Include a range of color by trying eggplants, onion, pepper, carrots, pumpkin, kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, cauliflower, mushroom, and much more!

Whole Grains

Instead of regular rice, bread, and pasta, try whole grain versions of each. For breakfast choose oatmeal or high fiber cereal. Switch things up and try grains such as rye, barley, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur and millet. For snacks have popcorn—it’s a whole grain!


Switch from your standard red meats to lean or plant-based substitutions. If you’re a meat lover swap in turkey, chicken and fish for red meats. Plant-based versions of protein can be found in beans, egg whites, and tofu.

Follow a healthful and active lifestyle for ultimate cancer prevention for you and your family. It’s never too late to start!

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Tags: Antioxidants , Healthy Eating , Nutrition , Whole Grains

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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