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Beat cancer by drinking mostly water and avoiding alcohol and processed meats

Beat cancer by drinking mostly water and avoiding alcohol and processed meats

Avoiding bacon and alcohol, and drinking mostly water could help reduce the risk of cancer up to 40 per cent, scientists suggested as they unveiled 10 point plan to beat the disease.

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) have updated guidelines, after the biggest analysis of its kind, warning that junk food, ready meals and red meat should be eaten only in moderation in favour of a diet that is rich in wholegrains, fruit and vegetables. We should drink mostly water, drink limited amounts of sugary drinks and avoid alcohol for the best chance of avoiding the disease.

The findings were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Vienna. Dr Giota Mitou, from the WRCF, said its recommendations “work as a blueprint to beat cancer that people can trust”.

From a study of 51 million people, they have formulated an plan which focuses on preventing obesity, as excessive weight was found to be the cause of 12 cancers.

The 10-point health plan

  1. Be a healthy weight
  2. Be physically active
  3. Eat a diet rich in wholegrains, vegetables, fruit and beans
  4. Limit consumption of ‘fast foods’ and other processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars
  5. Limit consumption of red and processed meat
  6. Limit consumption of sugar sweetened drinks
  7. Limit alcohol consumption
  8. Do not use supplements for cancer prevention
  9. For mothers: breast feed your baby, if you can
  10. After a cancer diagnosis, follow your doctor's recommendations

Being active and exercising, such as walking an hour a day, helps protect against bowel, breast and womb cancers and also helps people maintain a healthy weight, reducing cancer risk further.  Smoking and exposure to sun are known cancers risks so were not reviewed in this study.

Professor Linda Bauld, of Cancer Research UK, said: “This report supports what we already know – the key to cutting cancer risk is through our way of life. Not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating and drinking healthily and getting more active all helps. A bacon butty or glass of wine every so often isn’t anything to worry about, it’s the things you do every day that matter most. Building small changes into your daily life, like choosing sugar-free drinks or walking more, can add up to a big difference for your health.

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