World cancer research fund recommendations for diet, activity and cancer prevention

Amid substantial publicity the World Cancer Research Fund has published its report on cancer, physical activity and diet
The overall recommendations are 10 in number, of which the first 7 are the general ones.
It would be interesting to know how these recommendations fit with the large pool of knowledge on the molecular biology of cancer which now exists and is being added to. Shades of Mr Casaubon in George Elliot’s novel Middlemarch.

1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight
Convincing evidence shows that weight gain and obesity increases the risk of a number of cancers, including bowel and breast cancer. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity to help keep your risk lower.
2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day
There is strong evidence that physical activity protects against cancers including bowel and breast cancer. Being physically active is also key to maintaining a healthy weight. .Any type of activity counts-the more you do the better! Try to build some into your everyday fife.
3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods and drinks (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fibre, or high in fat. Try to eat lower energy-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits and wholegrains instead. Opt for water or unsweetened tea or coffee in place of sugary drinks.
4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and pulses such as beans. . As well as eating your 5 A DAY, try to include wholegrains (e.g. brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta) and/or pulses with every meal.
5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats
6. If consumed at all. limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day
7. Limit consumption of salty foods and food processed with salt (sodium)

8. Don”t use supplements to protect against cancer
Research shows that high-dose nutrient supplements can affect our risk of cancer, so it’s best to opt for a balanced diet without supplements.

Martin Eastwood
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