Switching to smaller glass of wine can help limit the danger
Published 14/09/2015 | 02:30
Switching to a small glass when enjoying a drink of wine can help reduce your risk of cancer.
A daily glass of wine should have no more than 10g of alcohol for women, because drinking more increases your risk of breast cancer by 10pc.
Men who drink alcohol daily are increasing their risk of bowel cancer and they should have no more than three small drinks of less than 30g of alcohol.
A bottle contains about 80g of alcohol, so you should get about eight small glasses from it. But many modern wine glasses are multiples of this size, with some capable of holding more than a third of a bottle.
Pouring generous measures at home means many of us are losing track of exactly how much we are drinking.
Annie Anderson, Professor of Public Health Nutrition University of Dundee, noted the European code against cancer says if you drink alcohol of any type, limit your intake.
She said that while ideally people should not drink, if they do, then keeping to a small glass can help limit consumption.
"We have spoken to women and they say to us, 'Why be such a killjoy?'" she said.
"Women don't want to be nagged, but they are interested, because they have had a relative or friend who has had breast cancer. The information is often not communicated well.
"Women who stick to a small glass are keeping their risk down for bowel cancer too," Professor Anderson pointed out.
She is speaking in Dublin this week as part of the Irish Cancer Society's 'Cancer Week Ireland'.
She said it was best not to drink at all - but that people who did should keep to a very small glass and stick to it for their daily indulgence.
Prof Anderson said she personally opts for a low-alcohol beer. She said: "There are no guarantees when it comes to preventing cancer but you can try to stack the odds."
Women who are post-menopausal and drink more than 10g daily increase their risk of breast cancer by 8pc. For younger women, it is 9pc.
When it comes to diet, she said we should try to add more wholegrains to our meals.
"There are no superfoods when it comes to diet, but we should be eating plenty of wholegrains, such as brown breads, brown rice, beans and lentils. They are probably more important than vegetables and fruits," said Prof Anderson.
"It does not need to be what I call 'vegetarian posh food'. It mean adding beans to salad or kidney beans in chilli con carne. In Scotland we are quite keen on scotch broth or lentil soup.
"I quite often make carrot coriander soup and add haricot beans to that. You need to be canny with red meat. You should limit the amount of red meat you have and not have it every day. Avoid large portions."