6 Habits for Restaurant Dining and Lower Cancer Risk

In the U.S. we eat about one-third of our food away from home – including both fast food and full service restaurants. A study published this week in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that you may be getting almost an entire day’s worth of calories in one sit-down restaurant meal.bigstock-Eat-healthy-with-this-menu-of--35851439

The researchers looked at the nutritional value of meals at 21 full-service restaurant chains and found that, on average, a single meal (entrée, side and one-half appetizer) contains almost 1500 calories, 28 grams saturated fat and 3300 milligrams sodium. Add a shared dessert and a beverage and the calories jump to over 2000.

Eating this way regularly can lead to overweight and obesity – and increased risk for several cancers, including colorectal, post-menopausal breast and pancreatic cancer. Continue reading


Celebrate with a Colorful, Healthy Toast to the New Year

How are you ringing in the New Year – with a few friends at home or out on Times Square? Whatever your plan, you want to celebrate and maybe drink a toast to the New Year. But maybe after weeks of holiday festivities, you’re not feeling like overdoing on food and drink. bigstock-Drinks-with-splashing-citrus-f-28116119

If you want to indulge in one glass of Champagne, that one midnight bubbly won’t break your calorie bank or exceed the healthy limit for alcohol. But if you party for several hours, those pre-midnight beverages can add up. With a little planning though,  you can still stick with AICR’s recommendation to lower your cancer risk: limit your alcoholic drinks to no more than one drink per day for women, two for men.

Going Out Plan:

Look for the low or non-calorie drinks – grab choices like sparkling waters, sugar-free sodas and tea. Or put a splash of wine or juice into a glass of sparkling or soda water for a light spritzer. And focus on dancing – you can stay active and not need to have a drink in your hand all night.

Hosting Plan:

Get creative and become a mixologist or let your guests try their hand at mixology. Offer a “Create Your Own Beverage Bar” starting with a variety of pretty glasses and stemware along with these colorful and tasty ingredients:

Beverage Base (plain or flavored; sugar-free)

  • Club soda or seltzer water
  • Sparkling and mineral waters
  • Tonic water

Flavors

  • Fruit juices and nectars – pomegranate, citrus, apricot
  • Coconut water
  • Teas (black, green, white, chai)
  • Wine
  • Liquors

Healthy Enhancers

  • Herbs – mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage
  • Fresh or frozen fruits, whole or sliced; berries, melon, pomegranate seeds, kiwi
  • Citrus peels and slices of lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange
  • Chopped fruit: apples, mangoes, papaya, pineapple
  • Flavored ice cubes: green tea, 100% fruit juice, chopped fruit

You and your guests can have fun creating new combos and maybe hit on some ideas that will help you work toward a healthier weight for lower cancer risk and better overall health or just add color and flavor to your drinks.

Please share your healthy creations with us and have a happy healthy New Year!

See AICR’s Test Kitchen beverages section and a Sonja’s blog on infused waters for more healthy beverage ideas.


Thrift and Cancer Prevention for Your Holiday Favorites

Last week, Mya wrote about a headline-grabbing analysis showing that you pay more to eat the healthiest diets.That’s not good news for the holidays if you’re trying to balance healthfulness and special food traditions – and you don’t want to bust your budget.

Fortunately, you can make choices that help the balance sheets for both health and budget. Here are a few ways to incorporate moderate spending and family favorites, along with an eye on a healthy weight and eating for cancer prevention during the holidays (and year round) meal by meal.

Breakfast: Look for in-season or other fruit on special at the grocery store; stock up on whole grains like oatmeal or make a batch of healthy homemade muffins and freeze individually; use eggs for breakfast protein – Average cost per egg is only 15 cents.Sticky buns dreamstime_xs_24398431

  • For Christmas morning, I splurge with our family favorite – homemade (1/2 whole grain) cinnamon rolls – but keep the breakfast healthful and economical with grapefruit halves and scrambled eggs.