Reduce health risks by increasing fruits, veggies in your diet
SNMH Registered Dietitian
According to the American Cancer society, one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States are linked to diet and exercise, including being overweight.
Eliminating tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate exercise and eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of developing cancer. These are the same recommendations for reducing your risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Eating a plant-based diet will help reduce your risk factors. Increasing your intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables will help you achieve your goals. Work toward increasing your dietary fiber to 35 grams per day.
Did you know the average American intake is 10-12 grams per day?
By using whole grain foods, vegetables and beans as the focus of your meal, you can meet your goal.
Limiting your beef and processed meats, like sausage, bacon and lunch meats, will also help to reduce your cancer risk factors.
Choose fish or poultry as your protein source and bake, broil or poach these rather than frying or charbroiling for your healthiest option.
Work toward having a “meatless” Monday and get your main protein source from beans.
When choosing your vegetables, try to eat at least three different colors at a meal.
Eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables will provide you with the cancer fighting phytochemicals your body needs.
These antioxidants are available in nutritional supplements, however, there is little proof that these supplements are as effective as eating whole foods.
Although juices can provide you with nutrients, try to eat fruits and vegetables in their whole form. Make a large salad tonight for dinner and save the extra for lunch tomorrow. Or put the greens and other vegetables on your sandwich at lunch. When you get your produce home from the farmer’s market, get it cleaned, cut and ready for your next snack.
Be creative with your fruits and vegetables. You will be surprised at how easy it can be to meet your nutritional goals, as long as you are prepared.
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