Research news and views on preventing and surviving cancer
Author: Alice RD
Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director 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.
According to a new report published in the journal Cancer, the number of deaths in the United States from colon cancer could drop significantly in the next decade due to improved screening and treatment. In the past 10 years, the death rate has dropped 20% according to the report. By 2020, the researchers predict, the death rate will be one half of what it was in 2000.
This is good news, but colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers according to David S. Alberts, MD . Diet and physical activity play an important role in lowering cancer risk and Dr. Alberts believes this is a message everyone should hear.
AICR’s expert report showed convincing evidence that consumption of processed meat, high amounts of red meat, body fatness and alcohol are causes of colorectal cancer. Physical activity was shown convincingly to reduce risk of colon cancer. Foods containing fiber and certain vegetables may also decrease risk for colorectal cancer.
AICR recommends that Americans focus on incorporating healthy habits to lower their risk for developing cancer. Eating a mostly plant-based diet, limiting red meat to less than 18 oz per week, exercising at least 30 minutes daily and maintaining a healthy weight are ways to reduce risk for cancer as well as other chronic diseases.
Could more exercise make you smarter? Yes, according to a large population study that showed a positive association between cardiovascular fitness and cognitive performance.
The authors looked at information from more than 1 million men from Sweden born between 1950 and 1976. They analyzed the physical activity and intelligence measures in these men at age 15 and again at age 18. Improved cardiovascular fitness at age 18 was associated with improvements in logical, verbal and other aspects of intelligence.
These results held even after adjusting for genetics and shared environment. The authors caution that since only men were included in the study, the results might not be applicable to women.
So, whether you want to get better grades, wow your boss, or just feel better, AICR has some ideas to help you start and maintain your physical activity this holiday season.
Check out these creative ideas from AICR’s December E-news articles:
AICR’s expert panel found convincing evidence that physical activity decreases risk for colon cancer, probably decreases risk for post menopausal breast cancer and cancer of the endometrium. Check our earlier blog postings from the AICR Research Conference on physical activity – how it impacts cancer prevention and survival and how we can improve our sedentary habits.
It’s not often we hear that holiday foods have actually decreased in calories over the years. But, according to Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab analysis of traditional Thanksgiving recipes, some of our favorites are a bit leaner today than in the 1950s.
Green beans with almonds, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie recipes each weighed in at an average of 102 calories less. Dinner rolls increased by 26 calories; corn and candied carrots remained the same. The analysis compared recipes from Better Homes and Gardens cookbooks, the 1956 vs. the 2006 editions.
According to the researchers, a Thanksgiving dinner with those eight sides plus a drumstick is 2,057 calories today compared to 2,539 in 1956.
The catch is that the serving sizes have to be the same. With our larger plates and portion up-sizing, we may not see those calorie savings according to Brian Wansink, Ph.D., Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.
AICR’s Bottom Line: Enjoy your favorite turkey day foods, but remember that moderate portions mean more days of delicious leftovers!
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