Balance your Lifestyle Today for a Lower Cancer Risk Tomorrow
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), says leading a balanced lifestyle (http://www.cansa.org.za/adopt-a-balanced-lifestyle/) can help lower the cancer risk and agrees with the World Cancer Research Fund – people can reduce their cancer risk in one third of cancer cases, by simply combining a wholesome eating programme, maintaining a healthy body weight and remaining physically active.
According to Elize Joubert, CANSA CEO, “Being overweight or obese is linked to a higher risk of several cancers. Many people in South Africa are overweight, including children and teens. In fact, we have the highest occurrence of obesity in sub-Saharan Africa, with 42% women and 13% men carrying this label, while 7% of boys and 9.6% girls present as obese. So our message is to eat smart to lessen the cancer risk.” *
CANSA recommends the following smart nutrition tips:
- Have less high sugar content food and beverages on an ongoing basis.
- Eat little, if any, processed meat such as ham and bacon and eat no more than 500g (cooked weight) red meat (beef, pork, lamb) per week. Instead, consume other protein sources such as fish, poultry or beans.
- On a daily basis eat a minimum of 2.5 cups of vegetables and fruit. These are complex foods that contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, fibre, carotenoids, and other bioactive substances, that may help avert cancer.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
- Eat less salt and limit salt intake to below 6g (2.4g sodium) a day.
Combined with eating smart, CANSA further endorses limiting inactive behaviours such as sitting, lying down, watching television, or other forms of screen-based entertainment, and rather get physically active to help maintain a healthy body weight. Instead of using the escalator or lifts, climb the stairs; whenever possible walk or bike to your destination; exercise at lunch with your co-workers, family or friends; take an exercise break at work to stretch or take a quick walk; walk to visit co-workers instead of sending an email; go dancing with your spouse or friends; go for walks in your neighbourhood or form a walking group.
“Join our CANSA Active programme (http://cansa-active.org.za/) to learn about leading a balanced lifestyle, playing sport safely in the sun as well as being cancer-aware by encouraging smart choices regarding diet and lifestyle. It also gives the opportunity for sports people to participate in their favourite sporting activity or race, while raising funds online to support CANSA’s care and support (http://www.cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/)to those affected by cancer, ” adds Joubert.
Visit www.cansa.org.za or www.cansa-active.org.za, or contact the nearest CANSA Care Centre, call CANSA toll-free 0800 22 66 22 or email: [email protected]. CANSA offers multi-lingual support on WhatsApp: 0721979305 for English and Afrikaans and 0718673530 for Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati. Follow CANSA on Twitter: @CANSA(http://www.twitter.com/CANSA), join CANSA on Facebook: CANSA The Cancer Association of South Africa and follow CANSA on Instagram: @cancerassociationofsouthafrica
* Ng M, Fleming T, Robinson M, Thomson B, Graetz N, Margono C, Mullany EC, Biryukov S, Abbafati C, Abera SF, Abraham JP. Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. The Lancet. 2014 Sep 5;384(9945):766-81