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Ask the Trainer: Can Your Diet Keep You From Cancer?

By Billy Locke
Published: Tuesday, May 26, 2009, at 03:47PM

Memorial Day Weekend! I trust everyone played hard or caught up on their sleep this wonderful holiday weekend. I took a few naps and played with friends as much as I could.

This week I want to talk about an important topic: cancer prevention. Each of us can take steps to significantly decrease our chances of getting cancer of any type.

With 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men estimated to develop some form of cancer in their lifetime, I think we all need to seriously start taking a long hard look at our attitudes, behaviors and eating habits.

An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure- Benjamin Franklin

I chose “Cancer Prevention” as a topic because I have had quite a few friends and clients develop cancer through the years. I always felt helpless and wished I could do more to assist them through their trying moments. Discussing this topic with you helps me ease a little of the loss that I felt. I hope what I share with you will help to prevent more people from having to go through the experience of having cancer.

Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food - Hippocrates

The most powerful steps we can all take in staying cancer free are to strengthen our immune systems and not provide fuel for cancer to grow and prosper. 559,888 deaths in 2006 were due to cancer, which was second to 631,636 deaths due to heart disease. Inherited genetic factors contribute to only 15 percent of all cancers. This means that lifestyle is the most significant contributor to the cause of cancer. Lung cancer is the most common fatal cancer in both men and women with 90% of men and 80% of women contracting and dying from it as a result of smoking.

Obesity is a bigger health concern than smoking, heavy drinking and poverty. It leads to chronic health conditions, significantly higher health expenditures and it affects more people than smoking, heavy drinking, or poverty - Rand Corporation

These statistics really hit home. 85% of all cancer cases are caused by the choices people make. So what are the steps that we can all take to decrease the estimated 1.5 million new cases of cancer that will be diagnosed in 2009?

  • Eat organic foods; conventional foods can contain chemical pollutants.
  • The American Cancer Society recommends that everybody eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruits a day to prevent cancer. Only one in four adults meet this daily requirement. Eating fruits and vegetables helps to protect against cancers of the mouth and pharynx, esophagus, lungs, stomach, colon and rectum. You should eat a variety of colors in fruits and vegetables. The pigment contains phytochemicals that help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  • Significantly reduce your intake of refined sugars, processed foods and foods containing white flour. Sugar fuels the development of cancer.
  • Eat more fish, flaxseed oil – omega-3 containing foods
  • Consume the proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for the growth and maintenance of cells. Most diets are too high in omega-6 (conventional meat and dairy products).
  • Consume only clean filtered water. Some tap and bottled waters are tainted with harmful chemicals.
  • Workout for 60 minutes at least 3 days a week. Exercise strengthens your immune system, helping you to combat cancer formation.

In short, sugar fuels the formation of cancer, chemical pollutants damage healthy cells and lack of exercise weakens our immune response to disease. The above recommendations are suggestions that I have cited in previous blogs. The point now is that adopting a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just feel and look good, it also significantly decreases your chances of being one of the 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men who will develop cancer in their lifetime.

That is it folks, check back later this week and I will answer an email from askthetrainer@blogdowntown.com.

Til next time—Exercise More, Play Hard, Work Smart.

Billy Locke


Extreme Natural Fitness Trainer

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