It’s What You Eat – Not Just Where You Eat

Last Friday, a new study prompted headlines proclaiming that eating away from home and eating fast food may not link to obesity. Today, we’re hearing about a study from a scientific meeting showing that eating more homemade meals links to lower risk for type 2 diabetes.

Both obesity and type 2 diabetes link to many common cancers, including colorectal, liver and postmenopausal breast. But with seemingly contradictory take-aways, you may be left wondering – does it really matter where and what I eat?

Yes, it does!

Here’s what the researchers agree on: Continue reading

Bacon, Hot Dogs and Lunch Meat – Is it Processed Meat?

Today, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) named processed meat as a carcinogen. AICR has included avoiding processed meat as one of our recommendations for cancer prevention since 2007. Processed meat (and high amounts of red meat) increase risk for colorectal cancer.

Here’s our statement on the WHO report.

Both organizations found that for processed meat, even small amounts eaten daily – 50 grams or 1 small hot dog – increases risk for colorectal cancer by 18% compared to eating none.Red Processed Meat Rec

So what exactly is “processed meat”?

AICR defines processed meat as:

“meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or addition of chemical preservatives.” Ham, bacon, pastrami, sausages, hot dogs and cold cuts are all considered processed meat. Continue reading

Heart Healthy Mediterranean Diet May Cut Breast Cancer Risk

canstockphoto13663884For years, we’ve heard a lot about the heart health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. Now an analysis from a randomized trial suggests this diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and nuts, may help lower risk of breast cancer.

The analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is from the PREDIMED trial – a 6 year study that includes data from over 4000 women, 60-80 years old and at high risk for cardiovascular disease. The women had been assigned to follow one of three diets, a Mediterranean diet where they received extra virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet with provided mixed nuts, or they were advised to follow a low fat diet. The women had quarterly sessions with a dietitian to assess how well they were following the diet.

At the end of the study, the women following the Mediterranean diet with olive oil showed a 62% lower risk of malignant breast cancer than the control, low fat diet group. When researchers put the olive oil and nuts groups together, there was a 51% relative risk reduction compared to the control group. Continue reading