A healthy diet and exercise are crucial for our general health and well-being. Current data supports previous findings that inappropriate diets cause around one-third of all cancer deaths. There are also well-proved estimates that a balanced diet, together with the maintenance of physical activity and appropriate body mass can in time reduce cancer incidence by 30 to 40 per cent. A balanced diet coupled with a healthy lifestyle is the key to preventing chronic diseases, including cancer.
According to the Asian Food Pyramid and recent nutrition-related research, the following are recommended:
Two-thirds of your daily meal should come from plant sources.
Choose whole grain products over white flour products, because the former contains a higher amount of dietary fibre, vitamins and iron.
Reduce your meat consumption, especially red meat, innards and sausages
Try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables
Watch out for fat and lower your daily fat intake, especially of animal fat
Watch out for sugar and try to reduce your sugar intake
Reduce your salt intake
Don't forget to drink enough (at least 1.5 liters daily), prefer water and fruit juices without added sugar
Besides these aspects make sure that your food is fresh and free from contaminants. There is evidence that aflatoxin, a mycotoxin, causes cancer of the liver. This toxin is found in fungus that grows on peanuts that are not stored properly. So before eating check for fungus or moulds and if you have discovered something suspicious, throw the whole food away!
Furthermore, prepare your food with care! Cooking food in a direct flame could produce cancer-causing compounds on the surface of the foods. Do not overcook meat and fish so that it's burnt at the edges. This may increase the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. Smoked foods present a similar problem since the smoking process produces nitrites, which could be transformed to carcinogens in the stomach.
Cook your food without much water! Boiling in much water is besides high heat and exposure to air on of the greatest robbers of nutrients!
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