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Nutrition for cancer prevention

Nutrition for Cancer Prevention

Check out these helpful strategies to reduce your risk of cancer.


The Canadian Cancer Society states that research shows up to 30-35% of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and managing a healthy weight1


Getting active increases your energy and your outlook on life.

Top 5 Nutrition Strategies to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer:

#1 Plants Have Power!

It’s probably no surprise to you that eating more fruits and veggies offers significant cancer protection! Vegetables, fruits and other plant based foods contain health promoting antioxidants and phytochemicals which protect the cells in your body from damage which can lead to cancer1,3. The best way to ensure you get enough of these powerful nutrients is to eat a variety of fruits and veggies as well as to eat enough servings of them as is recommended for health.

Get Enough!
Canada’s Food Guide suggests getting 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables for adults above the age of 18.2 For more information about how much is best for you and information on how much is equal to a serving visit

Go for Variety!
Dark green and orange veggies and fruits tend to be very potent cancer protectors. Examples include leafy greens like spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cantaloupe, oranges, squash, berries and red peppers.1 For more information on the best fruits and veggies for cancer prevention visit

#2 Get More Fibre

Fibre helps keep your digestive system healthy and can lower your risk of cancer.1 Some examples of high fibre foods include whole grain bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, high-fibre cereals and beans/legumes such as baked beans, hummus, chick peas, lentils and black beans. Of course veggies and fruits are top picks for fibre too, as well as nuts & seeds.

To check out how much fibre is in a variety of foods click this link The Nutrient Value of Common Foods to download file or visit Health Canada’s Canadian Nutrient File.

#3 Get the Right Kinds of Fats

There are potentially helpful and harmful fats for prevention of cancer.

Fats to Eat LESS Of:
Try to eat less trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats are found in foods that contain hydrogenated oils such as in some cookies, cakes, crackers, chips, margarines and restaurant & fast food menu items. Saturated fats are often solid at room temperature and are commonly found in animal foods such as butter, marbled meat, poultry skin as well as in many shortenings & margarines.

Fats to Eat MORE Of:
When it comes to cancer prevention as well as keeping your heart healthy the omega-3 fats are a top choice. These are found abundantly in seafood and also in ground flax seeds, walnuts and canola/soybean oil. Other healthy fats include those found in nuts, seeds, and many liquid vegetable oils.

#4 Limit Alcohol Consumption

Too much alcohol is known to increase the risk of some types of cancer. Therefore if you choose to drink alcohol, limit your intake to less than one drink/day for women (note: pregnant women should avoid alcohol) and less than two drinks/day for men.

What is ONE Serving of Alcohol?
One 12oz (350ml) bottle of beer (5% alcohol)
One 5oz (145ml) glass of wine (12% alcohol)
One 1.5oz (45ml) spirits (40% alcohol)

#5 Boost Your Vitamin D

Studies are showing that a lack of Vitamin D increases your risk of cancer. To find out more read our article “Vitamin D: A Powerhouse in the fight against Cancer.

Canadian Cancer Society 
American Cancer Society

1 Canadian Cancer Society 
2 Health Canada: Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide 
3American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention. Reducing the Risk of Cancer With Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity. CA Cancer J Clin 2006; 56:254-281
4 World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research Expert Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global