12 Ways to Slash Your Cancer Risk (and Your Waistline!)

Cancer is one tricky widget. But you can decrease your risk for many forms of cancer by following these healthy tips.

By David Zinczenko with Ted Spiker, Women’s Health

Trim the Fat

The more fat you eat, the greater your risk of developing a highly fatal form of cancer. In a study of more than 500,000 people reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, those who ate the most fat (about 40 percent of their daily calories) were 23 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who ate the least (about 20 percent of their cals). Limit fat to 20 to 35 percent of your calories—about 40 to 70 grams total in an 1,800-calorie diet.

Supercharge your diet with these surprising power foods.

Go For Yolk
Research in 2009 suggests that egg yolk may be cancer-protective. The yellow stuff is rich in choline, which has been linked to lower rates of breast cancer. One yolk delivers 25 percent of your daily needs.

Hail a Cabbage
Each 22-calorie cup of cabbage is loaded with sulforaphane, a chemical that increases your body’s production of the enzymes that disarm cell-damaging, cancer-causing free radicals.

Be Like Popeye
A 2009 report in the International Journal of Cancer shows that people who ate the most folate-rich leafy greens, such as spinach, had half as many skin cancer tumors as those who ate the least. It’s thought that the folate in greens may help repair DNA.

Bite a Blackberry
It contains anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that have been shown to fight various forms of cancer, according to a new study in Cancer Prevention Research.

Try the Cheese Platter
A large-scale study of 120,000 women found that premenopausal women who consumed a lot of dairy products, especially low-fat and fat-free ones, ran a lower risk of breast cancer.

How to outsmart restaurant menus.

Serve the Salmon
Or any other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can help mollify your cancer risk.

Eat the Whole Grain
Whole-grain carbohydrates are a great source of fiber. European researchers found that those with the highest daily intakes of fiber also had a 40 percent lower risk of developing colon cancer.

Sip Hot Tea
A 2007 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that drinking 2 to 6 cups of hot green tea a day helps prevent skin cancer and may reverse the aging affects of the sun’s rays. Drink it hot to reap the greatest amount of catechins, a type of antioxidant with proven anti-cancer properties.

Get a D
Foods high in vitamin D, like low-fat milk, help detoxify cancer-causing chemicals released during the digestion of high-fat foods, according to a study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The best vitamins for women.

Order Drinks with a Twist
According to University of Arizona research, lemon zest and orange zest contain d-limonene, an antioxidant that can reduce your risk of skin cancer by up to 30 percent if you consume quantities as small as 1 tablespoon per week.

Color Your Plate
A 14-year study found that those whose diets were highest in fruits and vegetables had a 70 percent lower risk of digestive-tract cancers.

112 comments

aj E.
aj E.3 years ago

interesting that dairy is being promoted on this one, bashed in other articles here.

aj E.
aj E.3 years ago

interesting that dairy is being promoted on this one, bashed in other articles here.

jane richmond
jane richmond4 years ago

thanks

Michele G.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks :)

Clare E.
Clare Canfield5 years ago

Nice tips

Lika S.
Lika S.5 years ago

Good to know.

Patricia G.
Patricia G.5 years ago

Great! Thanks!

Sue Horwood
Sue H.5 years ago

Good to know

Paulette Andrews
Paulette Brinley5 years ago

It's so good to know that the healthy food choices I make can prevent dreaded diseases that are so common these days. I truly believe it's the unhealthy eating habits of our society that is causing the cancer rate to soar.

heather g.
heather g.5 years ago

Enjoyed that article. However, I also listen to Dr OZ and will continue with walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, flax and sunflower seeds - apparently, good fats