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Cut out fruit juice to slash your chance of getting cancer, experts say. Also bacon.

The World Cancer Research Fund released recommendations for slashing the risk of preventable cancer. The guidelines include avoiding supplements, eating grains, avoiding processed meats and alcohol, and more.
The World Cancer Research Fund released recommendations for slashing the risk of preventable cancer. The guidelines include avoiding supplements, eating grains, avoiding processed meats and alcohol, and more. AP

It may say "fruit" on the label, but don't let that fool you: according to the World Cancer Research Fund, cutting out sugary drinks - including fruit juice - is a major step that could help you slash your risk of getting cancer.

But it's just one step in the organization's latest 10-point-plan. If you want to get the full benefits, you'll have to cut out some other stuff too. Like bacon.

The new report combined studies of 17 different cancers and used data from more than 50 million people. The first such report was published in 1997 and a new one is released every 10 years.

"The Cancer Prevention Recommendations are the centrepiece of our new report. They form a global blueprint, a package that people can follow to help reduce their risk of cancer," wrote Dr. Kate Allen, World Cancer Research Fund International’s executive director of science & public affairs.

About 40 percent of cancers are preventable, but the struggle has always been figuring out what kinds of behaviors are most likely to trigger the development of the disease. Everything from drinking hot tea or coffee to keeping a house "too" clean has been linked to a greater cancer risk in some people.

For their list of recommendations, the World Cancer Research Fund said it only uses evidence that "that strongly links a risk factor to cancer" based on extensive evidence.

"Our Recommendations constitute a blueprint for reducing cancer risk through changing dietary patterns, reducing alcohol consumption, increasing physical activity and achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight," the organization wrote.

Here is the list of recommendations

1. Maintain a healthy weight and avoid weight gain later in life

The researchers linked being overweight or obese to 12 different cancers and that "maintaining a healthy weight throughout life is one of the most important ways to protect against cancer."

2. Stop sitting so much. Get out and be active.

The organization says people should get a bare minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity a week, and that lack of physical activity is linked to colon, breast and endometrial cancer.

3. Eat lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans

The organization recommends a diet high in plant-based foods, including 30g per day of fiber and choosing low-starch vegetables.

4. Stay away from fast food.

The researchers say eating fast food increases the risk of weight gain, which itself is linked to many cancers. "Limit consumption of processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars – including ‘fast foods’; many pre-prepared dishes, snacks, bakery foods and desserts; and confectionery," the organization wrote.

5. Stay away from red meat, and stay far away from processed meats

Red meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat), alongside processed meat, has been linked to colorectal cancer. The organization recommends no more than three portions of red meat a week and, ideally, no processed meat at all.

6. Drink water and unsweetened drinks instead of fruit juice and soda

Sugary drinks - and that includes fruit juice - are linked to weight gain, which itself can lead to cancer, the researchers say. They recommend drinking water and non-sweetened drinks, though they say there is not enough evidence to make a case one way or another on artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

7. Don't drink alcohol.

The researchers say drinking alcohol is connected to mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colorectal, breast and stomach cancers, and that even small amounts can increase some of those risks.

8. Don't bother with supplements

Supplements are usually not vigorously tested and aren't proven to have any benefits greater than getting a normal healthy diet, according to the researchers. Beta-carotene supplements may even increase the risk for lung cancer in some people, the researchers say.

9. Breastfeed your baby, if you can

Breastfeeding can protect against breast cancer and also helps boost the baby's immune system, the researchers say.

10. If you get a cancer diagnosis - keep following these steps

Even after a diagnosis, following these steps can reduce the risk of developing new cancers or of a resurgence of an old one, the researchers say.

Although cancer remains the No. 2 cause of death in the country, there is some reason to be optimistic. A recent study found that fewer people were dying from or being diagnosed with cancer in the United States in the early 2010s - and that's across all backgrounds. But that means it's important for people to keep watch for the spread of new cancers - or the return of old ones, the researchers say.

The Center for Disease Control explains how exposure to specific chemicals can increase lifetime risk of getting cancer.

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