Following a heart healthy lifestyle may have an additional payoff. Researchers at Northwestern University have found that people who did not smoke, controlled their blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, kept their weight within a targeted range and remained physically active were significantly less likely to develop cancer. The investigators paid particular attention to breast, lung and colorectal cancers.
There were more than 13,000 people in the study, which ran for approximately 20 years. Only a small proportion of the volunteers were able to score high on every measure, but the more cardiovascular risk factors they controlled, the lower their likelihood of a cancer diagnosis. It is heartening to know that the same behaviors that help the heart also seem to protect us against so many cancers.
[Circulation, online March 18, 2013]
You can learn more about heart-healthy eating in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. In it, we describe the DASH diet, low carb diet and Mediterranean diet.