Experts say eating right can help you prevent cancer and even support your treatment if you have already been diagnosed with the condition.
Ethan Bergman, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President, said that whether you, a parent, friend or a child has been diagnosed, chances are, your life has been touched by cancer.
AdvertisementBergman said that while cancer can leave us feeling helpless, the good news is that there are measures you can take to prevent the disease.
Your diet is one of the most important factors under your control.
According to Bergman, a healthful eating plan can lower your risk for developing cancer and if you have been diagnosed, eating well can positively support treatment and help you live well after treatment.
He said that diet could affect disease prevention for not only cancer, but also heart attacks, Type 2 diabetes and strokes and deaths from cardiovascular disease.
While more research is needed on the precise mechanisms, Bergman noted that one could help reduce cancer risk through eating right.
Maintaining a healthy weight is key to reducing your risk of cancer and other diseases, he said.
He suggests eating fewer foods that are high in calories and fat and low in nutrients.
Foods with added sugars and fats can cause weight gain and leave little room for more healthy, cancer-preventing foods, he noted.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are linked with a lower risk of certain cancers, he said.
He advised to limit alcohol because evidence suggests all types of alcoholic drinks may increase risk of a number of cancers, including mouth, throat (pharynx), voice box (larynx), esophageal, liver, breast, colon and rectal.
It's unclear exactly how alcohol affects cancer risk. It is considered more harmful when combined with smoking. If you drink at all, limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one drink daily for women and two for men, he added.