To prevent cancer, boost your exercise and don’t drink

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Published: September, 2020

Move your body more and skip the alcohol to reduce your risk of cancer, says the American Cancer Society in its new cancer prevention guidelines. The updated recommendations, published online June 9, 2020, by CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, also recommend cutting down on sugar and red meat, based on a review of the most recent scientific evidence.

Specifically, the new guidelines say that instead of exercising moderately for 150 minutes a week or doing 75 minutes of vigorous activity, adults should try to squeeze in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity — and that the higher number should be the target. As for diet, people interested in reducing their risk of cancer should aim to eat more plants, including whole (not refined) grains and at least two-and-a-half cups of colorful fruits and vegetables each day, and less sugar and meat (specifically limiting processed and red meat whenever possible). In the past, the ACS recommended moderate alcohol intake, but the new guideline says it's better to avoid alcohol altogether if possible. People who do drink should still stick to the previous recommended limits: no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

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