Help reduce your risk of cancer

A healthy lifestyle can reduce your chance of getting cancer

So what's a healthy lifestyle?

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Being active
  • Controlling your weight
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Not smoking
  • Spending only a little time in the harsh South African sun

Enjoy a variety of foods

If you eat a variety of food, you will ingest a variety of vitamins and minerals that help prevent infections and illness.

Be active

Being active keeps our bodies strong, helps control our weight and makes us feel great! Being overweight can increase our chances of developing some cancers. You don't always have to go to a gym - walking, taking the stairs everyday, swimming, cycling and any fun sports will help you to stay active.

Make starchy foods part of most meals

  • Brown rice and stampkoring
  • Wholewheat or seed bread/rolls
  • Wholewheat pasta
  • Potatoes with skin on and sweet potatoes
  • Mealies and samp
  • Porridge such as oats and Maltabella
  • Cereals such as bran flakes and muesli

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit everyday

 They are an important part of daily eating as they provide us with many different vitamins and minerals which protect us against illness and disease, such as cancer.

Use sugar and food and drinks high in sugar sparingly

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit everyday

  • Eat fruit with breakfast, e.g. a banana with cereal or a glass of fruit juice with your toast. Make fruit salad on the weekends.
  • Snack on fruit between meals - apples, pears, grapes, naartjies or bananas are easy to eat at work. Dried fruit, e.g. raisins and dried peaches make tasty snacks.
  • Include salad with lunch or on your roll, e.g. slices of tomato, lettuce and carrot sticks.
  • Try to include 2 different coloured vegetables with dinner, e.g. green beans and carrots, spinach and butternut, peas and corn or broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Eat dry beans, split-peas, lentils and soya regularly.
  • These foods are very high in roughage and also contain protein, which keeps muscles strong.

Tips on including these foods are

  • Add lentils or kidney beans to lean mince or stews.
  • Have baked beans on toast for an easy breakfast or lunch.
  • Try 3-bean salad with meals for a change.
  • Fish, chicken, lean meat or eggs could be eaten daily.
  • These foods are high in protein. Choose low fat forms and cook them without adding too much fat. Keep portions moderate.

Some tips

  • Remove the fat from meat and skin from chicken.

  • Grill chicken, fish and meat instead of frying

  • Add flavour in the form of herbs, lemon juice, garlic, ginger or chillies

  • Choose low fat or skim milk, yoghurt and cheese

  • Boil or poach eggs rather than frying

  • Include beans, lentils or soya with some meals instead of eating animal protein with all meals!

Have milk, maas or yoghurt every day

Dairy products provide protein for growth and calcium for bone development, muscle and nerve function, blood clotting and hormone release
Use fat sparingly choose vegetable oils rather than hard fats
Some foods provide essential fatty acids which are good for us. These include tinned sardines, salmon and pilchards, nuts, avocados and seeds. Include avocados and seeds in salads, sandwiches or rolls. Use a little olive oil in salads or cook with a little olive, sunflower or canola oil. Other fats are not as healthy so eat them only in small amounts, e.g. margarine, butter, cream, mayonnaise, salad cream and salad dressings.

Use salt and food high in salt sparingly

Avoid cooking with salt. Some food contains a lot of salt, e.g. processed meats, packet crisps, packet soups and sauces. Try to use natural flavourings as mentioned previously (herbs, garlic, chillies, ginger, black pepper and lemon juice).

Drink lots of clean, safe water

Water out of the tap is safe. If you are unsure whether or not your water source is safe, boil it before drinking. Try to drink mostly water, but you can also include tea, fruit juice and low fat or skim milk. Water helps to move food through our bodies and keeps us hydrated.

If you drink alcohol, drink sensibly

Having more than 2 drinks per day increases your risk of breast cancer. Rather try to limit alcohol to one drink per day.


**If you need more advice, click on the ''Ask the Dietitian'' to pose a question to our Registered Dietitian


Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided by the SPAR Group Ltd for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.