What Your top 10 New Year’s Resolutions Should Be
1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight (underweight is a body mass index less than 18.5). From the age of 21, avoid weight gain and an increase in waist circumference (healthy waist measurement is less than 80cm for women and less than 94cm for men).
2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Starting with moderate activity that increases your heart rate and makes you feel slightly out of breath (like brisk walking). As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes of moderate or 30 minutes of vigorous activity that makes you feel warm, sweaty and out of breath (jogging, tennis, swimming laps, heavy gardening).
3. Avoid sugary drinks, limit fruit juice (even those without added sugar) and rely on water to quench thirst. Restrict consumption of energy-dense foods such as biscuits, particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fibre, or high in fat. Eat fast fatty foods such as burgers, chips, fried chicken and pizzas sparingly.
4.Have at least five 400g portions of a variety of non-starchy vegetables and fruit per day. Have unprocessed cereals, wholegrain rice, bread and pasta and/or legumes with every meal. Limit refined starchy food.
5. Eat meat but cut back on cooked red meat, such as beef and lamb, to less than 500g a week. Too much may damage the lining of the bowel. Eat very little, if any, bacon, ham, salami, corned beef and European-style sausage, which can contain carcinogens. There is now strong evidence these meats are contributing to causing bowel cancer.
6.Men should only have two standard alcoholic drinks a day and women one. Remember the consumption of alcohol, at any level, can increase your risk of cancer.
7. Salt and salt-preserved foods are now believed to cause stomach cancer. Instead, try to use herbs and spices to flavour food and remember that processed foods, including bread and breakfast cereals, can contain large amounts of salt. Cut back to an intake of less than 6g of salt per day. Do not eat any food showing signs of mould, particularly cereals or legumes, as there is a link to liver cancer.
8. Don’t use supplements, such as vitamins, to protect against cancer. While there have been some benefits reported in specific individuals in specific settings, there is no evidence for routine consumption by the general public. And there is convincing data that some supplements, such as high-dose beta- carotene, may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
9. It’s best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and then add other liquids and foods into a baby’s diet. Doing so, protects the mother against breast cancer and the baby from excess weight gain.
10.For cancer survivors, maintaining a healthy weight through diet and physical activity may reduce the risk of the cancer recurring. For at-risk groups, the single act of stopping smoking will reduce the world’s cancer burden by another third.
© The West Australian
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