Eat a healthy diet

Eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day


Fruit and vegetables are low in fat and calories and help maintain a healthy body weight. Given that being overweight is a risk factor for cancer, they are an important part of our daily diet.

Fruit and vegetables also contain natural protective substances that may destroy cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) and may protect against cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, bowel and lung.

Research suggests that eating red meat and, in particular, processed meat, may increase the risk of bowel cancer. Cancer Council also recommends eating wholegrain breads and cereals as part of a healthy diet and to maintain a healthy body weight.


  • Aim to eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day. A serve size is about a handful.
  • Limit red meat intake to three to four serves a week. One serve should roughly fit into the palm of your hand.
  • Limit or avoid eating processed meats like sausages, frankfurts, salami, bacon and ham.

1 serve of fruit =

  • 2 pieces of small-sized fruit (such as apricots, plums and kiwifruit)
  • 1 piece of medium-sized fruit (such as an apple or orange)
  • 1 cup of fruit salad or canned fruit pieces

1 serve of vegetables =

  • 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup of salad
  • 1/2 cup of legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas)

Find out more about maintaining a healthy diet to cut your cancer risk at the Cancer Council Victoria website or read past articles from our monthly cancer prevention newsletter:

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