Holy Name Medical Center Blog

Reducing Your Cancer Risk is On the Menu

Posted by Debbie Bessen, MS, RD, CSO
Clinical Nutrition Manager
Holy Name Medical Center on February 12, 2021
Debbie Bessen, MS, RD, CSO, Director of Clinical Nutrition Holy Name Medical Center

You are what you eat is an old expression that is especially meaningful when it comes to taking steps to lower your risk for cancer.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. About half of the most common cancer cases in the U.S. are preventable, according to the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute of Cancer Research.

Following these 10 simple lifestyle recommendations can help you to take steps to prevent cancer. These are based on research proving a strong link between cancer risk factors and developing the disease:

  • Achieve a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
  • Limit the amount of “fast foods” and other processed foods that you eat, which are high in fat, starches, and/or sugars.
  • Reduce the amount of red and processed meats you consume.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Do not use supplements that claim to prevent cancer.
  • For mothers: Breastfeed your baby if you can.
  • Also follow these recommendations if you are diagnosed with cancer.

To help interpret these recommendations and incorporate them into our daily lives, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has created a fun interactive Healthy 10 Challenge. This free 10-week program will help you build healthy habits and learn how to eat with prevention in mind.

Get started today by clicking below and accepting the AICR Healthy 10 Challenge:

AICR Healthy 10 Challenge

Debbie Bessen, MS, RD, CSO, is a registered dietitian specializing in oncology, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal health, and weight control.

If you have any questions, or would like to make an appointment with a registered dietitian for a telemedicine nutrition counseling appointment with Holy Name’s outpatient nutrition center, call 201-227-6040.