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Reduce your risk of cancer

Today’s blog is a little different. I was reading an article yesterday from the Chester Standard and wished to share it with you all as we all know someone who has been affected by cancer.

“Cancers are responsible for 25% of all deaths in the UK and in our lifetime we all know someone who is a sufferer and increasingly, experts are discovering that more and more cancers are caused by our lifestyle choices and are hence avoidable.

Note I would love to lay claim to creating the optimum 10-point plan for avoiding cancer but that isn’t the field of my specialism, so this week I’ve gone I’ve better.

The 10-point cancer avoidance plan has been issued by the World Cancer Research Fund, following a review of studies by Imperial College, London, on no less than 51 million people and is the most comprehensive analysis yet undertaken on the causes of cancer.

The recommendations were launched last month in Vienna the European Congress on Obesity with the goal of creating a lifestyle blueprint for health and longevity.

1. Maintain a healthy weight.

Carrying excess weight had now been linked to at least 12 different types of cancer (twice as many as a decade ago as researchers identify the causes of more cancers) and with obesity on the increase, being overweight could overtake smoking as the main cause of cancer within 20 years.

2. Be physically active.

My favourite of course! Exercise is essential for everyone but the study specifically mentioned people who are in sedentary jobs to take ‘special care’ to build exercise into everyday life. Current NHS recommendations for minimal adult exercise levels are two or more strength training sessions plus 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity per week.

3. Easy a diet rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruits and beans.

This recommendation totally aligns with my frequent exhortations to eat clean meals created from Martial ingredients using produce which falls off a tree or is dug out of the ground rather than being fashioned in a food factory or coming in a packet.

4. Limit fast food and processed foods.

I’m often writing that fast and processed foods are created by food manufacturers for long shelf lives and at a cost as low as possible in order to maximize profits margins, as opposed to creating products which are nutrient rich and healthy and this recommendation simply endorses my advice – so fast and processed is out!

5. Cut intake of red and processed meat.

Processed and red meats were identified as the real bad guys here, particularly bacon, which had already been linked to bowl disease and certain cancers, worth researchers advising people to totally eliminate their consumption of bacon.

6. Drink more water.

The researchers actually came down much heavier in this recommendation, stating that the only drinks which carried no cancer risk was those containing neither sugar or alcohol.

7. Limit alcohol.

Actually zero alcohol according to the researchers, with alcohol already proven to be linked to certain cancers including breast cancer, with the report stating that alcohol was strongly linked to an increased risk of six cancers.

8. Avoid supplements. The rationale behind this recommendation was for people to simply stick to good nutrition rather than attempting to boost a poor diet with additional supplements. And of course you gain a whole lot more from a clean, healthy diet than just the vitamins and minerals so getting your nutrients in natural form wherever possible delivers much more bang for your buck.

9. Babies should be breastfed.

Nothing to do with my overall healthy lifestyle focus but important that I include it because it forms part of the Top Ten guidelines. However from a babies perspective, breast milk as opposed to formula gives your baby the optimum start in life by benefiting from the mother’s antibodies and immunities that she’s built up all her life.

10. Avoid smoking and excess sun.

I had to laugh when I read this one because whilst a certain level of sun is good for us, facilitating vitamin D as a minimum, so use of the term ‘avoiding excess’ seems appropriate, surely never smoking would have been better! Whilst deaths from lung cancer are gradually falling, it’s still the biggest single cancer for both men and women.

11. Top tip of the week.

So pulling all that 10-point plan together, what might you expect for your efforts? Well quite a lot it appears with the researchers identifying that adhering to the plan could cut your cancer risk by up to 40%.

Now that’s worth putting the effort in for.”

This article was brought to you by Mike Searle from body4life.

See you in class, Mr E

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