Research news and views on preventing and surviving cancer
Author: Alice RD
Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Head of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.
US News and World Report published its latest rankings of diets on the best ones for health, including for weight loss, diabetes and heart health. But with an estimated 1.6 million new cancer cases in 2016, the rankings missed an important category: cancer prevention.
AICR – along with that of other major health organizations – now clearly recognize that diet plays an important role in reducing risk for many common cancers.
This week, researchers opened our conference tackling one of the most important lifestyle issues related to cancer: Exploring ways to effectively harness the power of healthy diet and exercise to help people get to and stay a healthy weight.
That’s an urgent need, because after smoking, obesity is now the leading lifestyle risk factor for eleven cancers, including colorectal, pancreatic and postmenopausal breast.
Dr. Barbara Rolls talked about our food environment, portion sizes and energy density and how those factors play a role in weight. She’s an international expert in how energy density (how many calories are in each bite compared to other foods) affects how many calories people eat. Results from her latest study suggest that several strategies using portion awareness, pre-portioned foods or just trying to eat less can all result in meaningful weight loss over a year’s time. Read more… “Portion Size, Energy Density and Losing Weight – What Works”
A new study presented today at AICR’s 25th Research Conference suggests that lycopene-containing foods may lower prostate cancer risk. That would be good news for cancer risk, but also because these foods provide an abundance of nutrients, like vitamins C, A and other phytochemicals.
Americans get lycopene mostly from tomatoes and tomato products like sauce, juice and pizza. But try other delicious choices like red and pink grapefruit, red carrots, papaya, guava and watermelon.
Although evidence isn’t strong enough overall to say foods with lycopene lower prostate cancer risk, AICR is working to tease apart how food and other lifestyle factors affect different types of this cancer. In the meantime, eating more of these foods contributes to an overall cancer-protective diet.