American Cancer Society Guidelines

The American Cancer Society (ACS) promotes the following guidelines for nutrition to lower overall cancer risk. More information – including recipes, shopping lists information about food labels – is available in the "Eat Healthy" section of the society’s website.

Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Pay attention to standard serving sizes and read food labels to become more aware of the number of actual servings you eat.
  • Eat smaller portions of high-calorie foods. Be aware that "low-fat" or "nonfat" does not mean "low-calorie" and that low-fat cakes, low-fat cookies and other low-fat foods are often high in calories.
  • Switch to vegetables, fruits and other low-calorie foods and beverages to replace calorie-dense foods and beverages such as French fries, cheeseburgers, pizza, ice cream, doughnuts and other sweets, and regular sodas.
  • When you eat away from home, choose food low in calories, fat and sugar and avoid large portion sizes.
Eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Include vegetables and fruits at every meal and for snacks.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Limit French fries, snack chips and other fried vegetable products.
  • Choose 100 percent juice if you drink vegetable or fruit juices.
Choose whole grains over processed (refined) grains and sugars.
  • Choose whole-grain rice, bread, pasta and cereals.
  • Limit intake of refined carbohydrates (starches), such as pastries, sweetened cereals and other high-sugar foods.
Limit intake of processed meats and red meats.
  • Choose fish, poultry or beans instead of beef, pork and lamb.
  • When you eat meat, choose lean cuts and eat smaller portions.
  • Prepare meat by baking, broiling or poaching rather than by frying or charbroiling.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit your intake.

People who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than two drinks per day for
men and one drink a day for women. The recommended limit is lower for women because
of their smaller body size and slower breakdown of alcohol. A drink is defined as 12
ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

  • Alcohol is a known cause of cancers of the:
  • Pharynx (throat)
  • Larynx (voice box)
  • Esophagus
  • Liver
  • Breast

Alcohol may also increase the risk of colon and rectum cancer.
Information copyright 2008 © American Cancer Society