10 Tips to Kickstart a Healthy Lifestyle
February is Cancer Prevention Month and we’ve teamed up with the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) to encourage everyone to adopt healthier habits to reduce their risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
To help you live healthier, AICR has taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations. These recommendations are a blueprint for not only lowering cancer risk, but also other chronic diseases and cancer recurrence:
Tip 1: Be a Healthy Weight
Manage weight with healthier food choices. Experiment with AICR's healthy recipes that include a variety of plant-based meals.
Tip 2: Be Physically Active
Start small. Take a 15-minute walk in the morning and in the evening to get 30 minutes of activity each day.
Tip 3: Eat a Diet Rich in Whole Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, and Beans
Use the New American Plate Model for your meals. Fill 2/3 (or more) of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. Fill 1/3 (or less) of your plate with animal protein.
Tip 4: Limit Consumption of "Fast Foods" and Other Processed Foods That Are High in Fat, Starches, or Sugars
Choose healthy snacks. Limit chips, cookies, and sugary cereals and swap with nutrient-packed veggies and hummus or fresh fruit and reduced yogurt.
Tip 5: Limit Consumption of Red and Processed Meat
Swap red meat for chicken, fish, or turkey. Use hummus or bean dip on sandwich instead of processed meat. If you do eat red meat, AICR says to limit consumption to no more than 12-18 oz (cooked) per week.
Tip 6: Limit Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Drinks
Drink mostly water. Make a pitcher of fruit-infused water to add extra flavor.
Tip 7: Limit Alcohol Consumption
Research shows that alcohol is linked to 6 different cancers so the AICR says it's best not to drink any alcohol. Choose sparkling water or 100% fruit juice. If you do choose to drink, try putting a splash of wine into soda water for a light spritzer.
Tip 8: Do Not Use Supplements for Cancer Prevention
Build your meals around plant foods to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.
Tip 9: For Mothers - Breastfeed Your Baby, If You Can
Evidence suggests breastfeeding can help protect mothers by lowering risk for breast cancer
Tip 10: After a Cancer Diagnosis - Follow AICR's Recommendations, If You Can
Check with your health professional about what's right for you. AICR's Recommendations are a blueprint not only for lowering cancer risk, but also other chronic diseases and cancer recurrence.
Which of these 10 tips will you try first?
This year, AICR has launched a new online tool that can help you put these Recommendations into action – the Healthy10 Challenge. The challenge is a free, 10-week online program designed to help improve your diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight for lower cancer risk and better overall health. It is engaging, inspirational, and accessible for all adults! To learn more and take the Healthy10 Challenge, visit www.healthy10challenge.org.