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THINK Before You Eat and Drink

Afrikaanse Media Vrystelling

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26 February 2019: CANSA continues its 365 Health Challenge and encourages everyone to eat and drink smartly. Research strongly indicates that making smart choices regarding what is taken in and exercising regularly can have a positive effect, not only on a person’s well-being, but also reduces individual cancer risk. #BalancedLifestyle

Elize Joubert CANSA’s CEO, says “Let traffic lights remind and guide you to make smart, informed choices to enable leading a balanced lifestyle which helps lower your cancer risk. So green is go for it – aim to eat up to five to seven portions of non-starchy vegetables and fruits in season every day where possible; include wholegrains and minimally processed grains as a source of fibre (30 g daily) and get active and exercise. Orange is a warning to be aware of eating habits that could influence your risk of developing cancer. So avoid foods that are high in kilojoules, sugar and or fat, which eaten very often could cause weight gain. Cut down on processed and ‘fast foods’.  Finally, red is to beware of the increased cancer risk, so limiting red meat to less than three portions a week, eating less foods cured by using a lot of salt, and avoiding alcohol is advised.”  View Infographics


Further, CANSA’s Smart Choice Seal, found on approved products, is part of an ongoing effort helping people choose items that help reduce personal cancer risk. The E-book, Smart Choice Cookbook with CANSA and B-well is a collection of recipes that focuses on cancer risk reduction. It covers breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as snacks and treats, with a vegetarian option included in each section. All the recipes were developed in consultation with CANSA’s consulting registered dietitian Megan Pentz-Kluyts, renowned for her knowledge on the role of nutrition in helping to lower the risk of cancer.

Dietary and physical activity factors have been shown to affect biological processes and cancers associated with diet are commonly found in the digestive tract (oesophagus, stomach, and bowel). A poor diet has been linked to increased cancer risk, and could lead to problems with weight management or obesity, which has been positively linked to an increased risk of 11 cancers. The National Cancer Registry (2014) shows a steady increase in the number of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer, one of the top four diagnosed in South Africa excluding skin cancers.

“Drinks sweetened with sugar and alcoholic beverages are high in kilojoules and if too many are consumed may cause weight gain or obesity which increases cancer risk. In 2017 CANSA presented to the Parliamentary Health Portfolio Committee in support of the indirect taxation on sugar sweetened beverages and in 2018, we were pleased to see this health benefit come into effect,” adds Joubert.

According to CANSA’s consulting registered dietitian Megan Pentz-Kluyts, “Food preparation methods can also add to increasing cancer risk, as harmful chemicals may form when certain methods are used, like braaiing. It’s important for women and men to balance the amount of kilojoules taken in with the amount expended per day. Being inactive and overweight – an increased Body Mass Index (BMI) – and having an expanding waist line, (above 80 cm for women and above 94 cm for men), also increases cancer risk.”

Please visit the CANSA website for detailed tips regarding smart, balanced nutrition.

#IAmAndIWill #StartWhereYouAre #LowerCancerRisk

For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.

CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public. Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support. We offer a Tele Counselling service in seven languages free of charge. We also supply patient care and support in the form of 8 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.

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