The ACS’ guidelines are based on contemporary science that shows it’s not specific foods and nutrients but how you eat that is important in increasing general health and reducing the risk of cancer.
Guidelines call for people to eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables, and to consume whole grains, such as brown rice. Sugar intake, highly processed foods and refined grains should be reduced or eliminated from the diet. Limits should be placed on eating beef, pork, lamb and processed meats, including deli meats, bacon and hot dogs, or they should be avoided.
The organization also says it’s “best not to drink alcohol. But if you do, women should have no more than 1 drink per day and men should have no more than 2. A drink is 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.”
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People also should spend less time remaining sedentary and in front of screens, according to the ACS.
Adults should aim for 150-300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. They could also do 75-150 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise.
“Getting 300 minutes or even more will give you the most health benefits,” the organization said.
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Children and teens should get at least one hour of moderate or vigorous exercise each day.
“There is no one food or even food group that is adequate to achieve a significant reduction in cancer risk,” said Laura Makaroff, who is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and is the American Cancer Society senior vice president, Prevention and Early Detection, in a press release. “People should eat whole foods, not individual nutrients, she said, because evidence continues to suggest that healthy dietary patterns are associated with reduced risk for cancer, especially colorectal and breast cancers.”