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Nutrition is important in the fight against cancer

PRESS RELEASE – Cancer remains one of the most Malignant diseases in the world today.

Major risk factors of cancers are tobacco, alcohol, diet, sexual and reproductive behaviour, infectious agents, family history, occupation, environment and pollution.

Health officials in Saint Lucia have placed emphasis on dietary practices which they believe are major contributors to cancer.

Shirlan Edward is a Field Nutrition Officer in the Ministry of Health and she explained the issues involved.

She said, “We just want to highlight how important nutrition is in terms of prevention.

“We want people to understand that cancer is linked to so many conditions like obesity. Research shows that obesity causes cancer so we just want persons to identify changing their lifestyles in terms of eating healthy and exercising.

“So, eating healthy means, you have a balance diet, you have five servings of fruits and vegetables which prevents you from over eating carbs.

“We don’t want people to go vegetarian but a life style that is less of your meats and all these processed foods we promote, so more balance in terms of your fruits and vegetables, your provisions, lean meats, less sugars in your diet and just less fats, the bad fats which are the saturated fats which you get from your fried foods, your process foods, we just promote more of that to prevent cancers.

“We are blessed in Saint Lucia with fresh fruits and vegetables and because of the anti-oxidant properties that helps fight cancer, we promote for fruits and vegetables.

“So, vegetables like your kale, your cabbages, you have your yellow vegetables like pumpkins, your carrots because of the vitamin A and vitamin C properties we promote more fruits and vegetables. Also the fruits which are all the fruits you can think of.”

‘Cancer loves and feeds on sugar’ were the spoken words of Fadia Campbell, a Nutritionist in the Ministry of Health, whilst she addressed health media personnel. She placed prominence on the consumption of refine sugars.

She explained, “I am appealing to persons who have cancer, who are fighting this battle to cut out sugar in your diet especially the refine sugars and drinks as well.

“So, we speak about the sodas, the sugar sweetened beverages, refined carbohydrates that break down to sugar more specifically glucose.

“So if it is you are able to do that it would be very good as a person fighting cancer or recovering at whatever stage you’re at sugar should be out of your diet.”

The health officials are calling on all Saint Lucians to engage in healthy habits, as precaution is always better than cure. (Ministry of Health)

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