Top 10 Recommendations for Cancer Prevention


1.Body fatness

Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.

  • Ensure that body weight through childhood and adolescent growth projects towards the lower end of the normal BMI range at age 21
  • Maintain body weight within the normal range from age 21
  • Avoid weight gain and increases in waist circumference throughout adulthood


2.Physical activity

Be physically active as part of everyday life.

  • Be moderately physically active, equivalent to brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes every day
  • As fitness improves, aim for 60 minutes or more of moderate, or for 30 minutes or more of vigorous, physical activity every day
  • Limit sedentary habits such as watching television


3.Foods and drink that promote weight gain

Limit consumption of energy-dense foods. Avoid sugary drinks.

  • Consume energy-dense foods sparingly
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Consume ‘fast foods’ sparingly, if at all


4.Plant foods

Eat mostly foods of plant origin.

  • Eat at least five portions/servings (at least 400 g or 14 oz) of a variety of non-starchy vegetables and of fruits every day
  • Eat relatively unprocessed cereals (grains) and/or pulses (legumes) with every meal
  • Limit refined starchy foods
  • People who consume starchy roots or tubers as staples also to ensure intake of sufficient non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and pulses (legumes)


5.Animal foods

Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.

People who eat red meat to consume less than 500 g (18 oz) a week, very little if any to be processed


6.Alcoholic drinks

Limit alcoholic drinks.

If alcoholic drinks are consumed, limit consumption to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women


7.Preservation, processing, preparation

Limit consumption of salt. Avoid moldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes).
  • Avoid salt-preserved, salted, or salty foods; preserve foods without using salt
  • Limit consumption of processed foods with added salt to ensure an intake of less than 6 g (2.4 g sodium) a day
  • Do not eat moldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes)


8.Dietary supplements

Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.

Maximize the intake to attain nutritional adequacy without dietary supplements – unless necessary for therapeutic use.



Mothers to breastfeed; children to be breastfed.

Aim to breastfeed infants exclusively up to six months and continue with complementary feeding thereafter


10.Cancer survivors

Follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

  • All cancer survivors to receive nutritional care from an appropriately trained professional
  • If able to do so, and unless otherwise advised, aim to follow the recommendations for diet, healthy weight, and physical activity
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