by Joan Borysenko Ever since President Dwight D. Eisenhower was diagnosed with heart disease in 1961 and put on a low-fat diet, reducing dietary fat—while increasing carbohydrate intake—has become nutritional dogma, in spite of some sketchy research. Yes, the rates of heart disease have gone down, but experts don’t think that diet was involved. Less […]
We are a country of excess. Our desire for more and more is evident in the increasing size of our homes, cars, and meals over the last half-century or more. Our waistlines have followed suit. Two-thirds of American adults are now overweight or obese. But there’s more to it than that. Aruni Nan Futuronsky, who […]
It’s a lot simpler than we think.
At the Union for International Cancer Control’s recent World Cancer Congress,Washington University School of Medicine researcher Graham Colditz, PD, DrPH, reported that more than 50 percent of cancer could be prevented if we implemented certain “lifestyle changes,” including quitting smoking and avoiding obesity.
Seems somewhat obvious, right? Maybe, maybe not. Although we read enough to know that eating right, exercising, and minimizing our exposure to known toxins (cigarettes among them) can limit our risk of developing cancer, most of us don’t necessarily believe it. “Many people are still under the impression that most cancer is genetic,” says Susan B. Lord,MD, a faculty member in Kripalu Healthy Living programs. “But the real figure is actually five percent.” That is, five percent of cancers have strong genetic ties, and the rest are related to environment and lifestyle. This means that the disease is far more preventable than we tend to think it is. In fact, Dr. Colditz estimated that improvement in diet could reduce cancer incidence by 50 percent, and increases in physical activity could reduce cancer incidence by as much as 85 percent, in five to 20 years.