Friday, February 27, 2009

Clean Up: Healthy Living Could Cut Cancer By 1/3

At least that's what experts are saying. Although we've known that a healthy lifestyle is the key to a long, healthy life for some time now - the numbers really paint a clearer picture and help send the message home. The researchers responsible for these findings are saying that a healthier lifestyle over all (healthy food choices, healthy eating habits, exercise, healthy weight) could cut the incidence of a whole slew of common cancers by as much as 1/3 in the US and even more in some poorer countries! Some of the significant causes of cancer according to the researchers are what people eat, and how quickly they're growing.

I guess it's no surprise to hear that the best foods for you are natural, whole foods, filled with real vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other cancer-fighting properties. Foods such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, low fat dairy, small amounts of lean meats are health-promoting all stars. The big losers, as we all know, are saturated and trans fats as well as all things artificial - processed foods in general. Your plate should be filled with colour - if it's mostly beige or brown then you might be in trouble.

Saturated fats are actually found in nature, but choosing low-fat dairy and lean meats are a good start in helping you cut those out. Trans-fats, on the other hand, are purely man-made and processed foods can be loaded with them. That and a side of sugar plus other fancy chemicals (mmm...preservatives!). I mean, do you really think that food is supposed to stay 'fresh' for as long as it does nowadays? Compare the shelf life of fresh fruits and veg to all that stuff in the pantry.
The take-home message here? The more we mess with the way that nature intended for us to live, as well as digest our food and absorb nutrients, the more we send our bodies out of whack! They can only do what they're genetically programmed to do, so adding too much 'dirty' fuel to the fire can, and likely will, mess up your body's natural balance. Start by making small changes and the benefits will be far-reaching!