About The Buzz: Less Alcohol, More Veggies Lower Cancer Risk?

TheBUZZ Less Alcohol, More Veggies Lower Cancer Risk?


It’s estimated that 1.6 million new cancer cases occurred in 2014. It’s also estimated that one-third of cancer cases could be prevented annually if more people ate a balanced diet, engaged in daily physical activity, and maintained a healthy weight. One recent study suggests that two health behaviors are associated with reduced risk of obesity-related cancers more than anything else: lower alcohol consumption and higher intake of plant foods.1


Because if its long-term design, the recent study of several thousand adults provides unique insight on the relationship between diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, obesity and cancer, allowing researchers to collect participants’ information throughout their lifespan.1 Since 1991, the researchers have been tracking data, thus following the individuals as they age.

A list of recommendations from leading cancer research organizations provides the template for reducing your risk for obesity-related cancer.2,3 What’s even more staggering is that following two of eight key recommendations (limiting alcoholic beverages and eating sufficient plant foods) is associated with reduced risk of obesity-related cancers, which includes breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

8 Key Recommendations for Reducing Obesity-Related Cancers

  1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
  4. Eat mostly plants: vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans. Limit refined starchy foods.
  5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
  7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
  8. Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer. Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.

This study demonstrated that adherence to the alcohol recommendation was protective against all site-specific cancers, and sufficient consumption of non-starchy plant foods was associated with decreased colorectal cancer risk.


Commit to maintain and healthy weight and lessen your risk of developing obesity-related cancers. Here’s how …


1 Makarem N, Lin Y, Bandera EV, Jacques PF, Parekh N. “Concordance with World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) guidelines for cancer prevention and obesity-related cancer risk in the Framingham Offspring cohort (1991-2008).” Cancer Causes Control (2015) 26: 277-286 View

2 “Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.” American Institute for Cancer Research. View

3 “Does body weight affect cancer risk?” American Cancer Society. View

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