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Reduce Your Risk

Even making small, gradual changes in what you eat and how active you are can make a big difference in reducing your risk of cancer.

Factors affecting weight and health 

Be kind to yourself and recognize that healthy bodies come in different shapes, sizes and weights. There are many other factors that can affect your weight: genes, income, education, social support, where you live and work, and experiences of weight bias.

It can be difficult to lose weight and keep it off. Healthy eating and physical activity can benefit your health regardless of your body size or weight.

Opportunities to make healthy choices may not be the same to everyone. Try to make positive choices where you can, focusing on ways to support your overall health.

Aim to eat a variety of nutritious foods every day

Canada’s Food Guide recommends that healthy Canadians two years of age and older eat a variety of nutritious foods each day (vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods). These can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried.

When planning your meals:
  • Have plenty of vegetables and fruits. Examples are broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, apples, oranges and blueberries.
  • Choose whole grain foods as much as possible. Examples are barley, oats, whole grain bread, brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain cereal.
  • Eat protein foods. Examples are beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, lean meats and poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, lower fat milk and lower fat dairy products. 
    • Whenever possible, try to choose protein foods that come from plants more often. This can include adding a plant-based protein to a meal or snack, or having a plant-based protein instead of an animal-based protein at a meal or snack.
  • Make water your drink of choice instead of juice, pop and other sugary drinks.
  • Limit alcohol and highly processed foods.

For more in-depth information and tips, check out our Healthy Eating page.

Be more active 

Physical activity has positive benefits for everyone. The more active you are, the more you’ll benefit, but even some physical activity is better than none.

You don’t have to begin by training for a marathon. Find activities that are fun and enjoyable to you!

  • Do something you’ve always wanted to try, like joining a team sport or taking a group fitness class.
  • Walk with a friend in the mornings, evenings or during a lunch break at school or work. 
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk or bike instead of using the car, especially for short trips.
  • If you drive, park further away from your destination or get off public transport a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.

For more information and tips, check out our Physical Activity page.

Cropped shot of a young woman making a healthy snack with fruit at home
Weight and cancer risk

Maintaining a healthy weight throughout life can cut the risk of 13 different cancers.Know the Science

SOURCE: Reduce Your Risk ( )
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