Health officials stress the importance of healthy lifestyles
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
by Miguel Mauricette, Ministry of Health

Officials at the Ministry of Health are promoting lifestyle changes that aid cancer prevention by placing emphasis on dietary practices—one of the major factors that affect cancer development.

Field Nutrition Officer, Shirlan Edward, said nutrition and a healthy lifestyle help thwart the development of cancer.

“We want to highlight how important nutrition is in terms of prevention. We want people to understand that cancer is linked to many conditions like obesity, and that changing their lifestyles in terms of eating healthy and exercising can help,” Ms. Edward explained. “Eating healthy means that you consume five servings of fruits and vegetables which prevents you from over eating carbohydrates, that you eat less red meat and processed foods, that you avoid processed sugars and fats, and that you increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, provisions, and lean meats. We are blessed in Saint Lucia with fresh fruits and vegetables and the anti-oxidant properties in them help to fight cancer.”

Nutritionist in the Ministry of Health, Fadia Campbell placed prominence on limiting the consumption of refined sugars.

“Cancer loves and feeds on sugar,” she said. “I am appealing to persons who have cancer to cut out sugars in your diets that come in the form of sodas, sugar sweetened beverages, snacks and sweets, and refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates break down into sugar, more specifically glucose. So for people fighting cancer, or recovering from cancer, sugar should be out of your diet.”

Cancer remains one of the most malignant diseases in the world today. The major risk factors for cancer are tobacco, alcohol, diet, sexual and reproductive behavior, infectious agents, family history, occupation, environment, and pollution.