The American Heart Association (AHA) is reporting that not only are 7 simple lifestyle modifications strongly linked to reducing the risk of heart disease but also strongly linked to reducing the risk of cancer.
Life's Simple 7 is a seven-point plan devised by the AHA as part of its My Life Check campaign to help Americans adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle.
"The 7 simple steps are:
Get Active: raise physical activity level to minimum of 150 minutes exercise a week (eg half hour brisk walking five days a week).
Keep to a Healthy Weight: aim to have your body mass index (BMI) no higher than 25.
Eat a Healthy Diet: low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars; high in whole grain fiber, lean protein, and a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
Control Cholesterol: aim to have a total cholesterol level of under 200 mg/dL (but also check balance of HDL or "good" cholesterol and LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, eg too little HDL, less than 40 mg/dL for men or less than 50 mg/dL for women, can be bad for heart).
Manage Blood Pressure: normal is less than 120 mm Hg systolic AND less than 80 mm Hg diastolic. Prehypertension is 120 - 139 systolic OR 80 - 89 diastolic.
Reduce Blood Sugar: fasting blood sugar level above 100, could indicate diabetes or prediabetes.
Do Not Smoke: smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the US: apart from increasing risk of lung cancer, by itself it increases the risk of coronary heart disease and is also a major risk factor for stroke."
The researchers are reporting that following 6 or 7 of the steps reduced the risk of cancer by 51%.
Meeting just 4 of the factors was linked to a 33% reduction in cancer risk.
Meeting just 1 or 2 was associated with a 21% lower risk.
These are very encouraging results. It is becoming clear that following a "simple" 7 recommendations are important towards leading a healthy life
one that will not just reduce your risk of heard disease but also reduce your risk of cancer too. My suspicion is that as we learn more, we will discover that following these lifestyle recommendations will prove to reduce the risk of other illnesses as well.
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