Nancy Dell: How effective is diet and exercise when it comes to reducing cancer risk?

Image (1) MercyMedicalCenterLogo_20120323115516_0_0.GIF for post 1006

1. How effective is diet and exercise when it comes to reducing cancer risk? 

The foods you eat and the exercise you do can dramatically reduce cancer risk.  According to a review of 12 studies, people who eat well and exercise reduced the risk of developing or dying from cancer by as much as 61 percent.

The anti-cancer guidelines say we need to eat whole grain breads, cereal, rice, and other grains in place of refined grains. Limit red meat and processed meats like bologna, salami, hot dogs and sausage. Eat more lean meats, dried beans and nuts.  Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  That means at least 2 and a half cups a day.

When it comes to alcohol, women should have no more than 1 drink a day and men no more than 2 drinks a day. All these guidelines will help you maintain a healthy weight which by itself reduces your risk of cancer.

2. So what if somebody follows just 1 or 2 of the guidelines?

Every little bit counts.  For example, in the case of breast cancer, each guideline reduced risk 11 percent. So following 1 guideline reduced risk 11 percent.  Following 2 guidelines reduced your risk 22 percent, and so on.

3. Does caffeine increase PMS symptoms?”  

According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, caffeine was NOT associated with PMS or premenstrual syndrome.

Researchers looked at the caffeine intakes of over 36 hundred women before any of them were diagnosed with PMS. After accounting for smoking, body weight and exercise, neither caffeine, coffee, or tea consumption was linked to PMS or symptoms like breast tenderness and irritability.