A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic

Reduce cancer risk with simple diet changes

chopping spinachChoosing to eat only organically-grown fruits and vegetables to reduce cancer risk is an easy decision. Deciding whether to spend the extra money to buy these products may not be so easy.

Diet and lifestyle play big roles in reducing cancer risk.

To offset the cost of buying all organically grown foods, strike a balance by incorporating cancer prevention lifestyle recommendations and replacing some non-organic foods with organic varieties.

Eat more organically grown foods

If you’re following AICR recommendations and want to try some organic foods, the Environmental Working Group recommends you focus on replacing non-organic foods that have higher risk for pesticide exposure with foods organically grown.

The group’s “dirty dozen,” list consists of foods that contain the highest amount of pesticide residue. These are the top foods to purchase organically for that reason:

The 2014 Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale and collard greens
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet bell and hot peppers

Focus on your lifestyle

The American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) offers these easy-to-digest cancer prevention lifestyle recommendations:

  • Be as lean as possible without being underweight.
  • Be physically active at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and limit foods high in fat and sugar.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains.
  • Limit red meats, processed meats and salt.

The AICR also suggests not using supplements to protect against cancer.

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