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November 2009 Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource Highlights Reducing Cancer Risk, Tips to Reduce Flatulence and Eating Nuts for Heart Health
Date:11/12/2009

y because they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other substances that lower the risk of cancer. In recent years, some studies have indicated that the association between eating fruits and vegetables and lower cancer risk isn't as strong as once thought. Most experts still believe that a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to protect overall health.

3. Limit fat in the diet: Studies suggest that high-fat diets or high intakes of certain types of fat may be linked to several types of cancer, including colon, lung and postmenopausal breast cancer. The reason may be that high-fat diets tend to be higher in calories and increase the risk of obesity. More study is needed to better understand which types of fat should be avoided and how much of each alters cancer risk.

Current guidelines recommend keeping fat intake between 20 and 30 percent of total daily calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.

4. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer as well as cancers of the colon, endometrium, esophagus and kidney. There's evidence that obesity increases the risk of cancers of the prostate, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, ovary and cervix. Some studies estimate that excess weight is a factor in 14 to 20 percent of all cancer-related deaths in American adults.

5. Be physically active: Evidence increasingly suggests that people who are physically active have lower risk of some cancers than those who are more sedentary. From 45 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day, on most days of the week, is considered optimal to reduce the risk of breast and colorectal cancers.

6. Curb alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption increases the risks of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon an
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