For diet and cancer prevention, do we really know enough to act?

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We do know enough now to make eating choices that lower our risk of cancer. In fact, we know that for people with typical American diets, waiting for more information before making any changes is increasing their risk of cancer.

It’s true that research on diet to lower cancer risk is a hot area with many questions still to be answered. That’s why it’s important when making changes to make your decisions on guidelines based on the overall body of research. Trying to act on each new study that makes headlines can make you feel like you’ve got whiplash… not a wise approach.

This year’s AICR Research Conference featured the renowned Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University presenting his view of what we know and don’t know on diet and cancer. Here’s my take, based on Dr. Willett’s presentation and others at the conference. Read more… “For diet and cancer prevention, do we really know enough to act?”

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    HealthTalk: How Can I Eat Healthy Portions at the Holidays Without Measuring?

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    Q: I’m trying not to overeat during the holidays, but I hate measuring my food. Is there another way?

    Eating and drinking more calories than your body can burn is especially easy at this time of year. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for avoiding the calorie overload that can make you feel sluggish and promote weight gain. You have lots of research-tested options, and a combination of strategies is likely better than relying on any one strategy.

    Stay Portion-Aware – Especially when extra-rich holiday foods are around, appropriate portions are more important than ever. If you don’t want to measure portions: Read more… “HealthTalk: How Can I Eat Healthy Portions at the Holidays Without Measuring?”

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      Do foods high in glycemic index increase breast cancer risk?

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      Eating foods with a high glycemic index (GI) can make your blood sugar rise higher and faster after eating. Theoretically, that could cause unhealthy levels of hormones like insulin, which seem to promote development of some cancers, including breast.

      However, research suggests that glycemic index by itself has little to no relation to breast cancer risk.

      The Research

      An analysis of 19 studies found no link between breast cancer risk and diets high in GI beyond what could occur by chance. Even glycemic load (GL), which takes portion size of foods into account, showed no significant link to breast cancer risk. The links were not consistent and could reflect other qualities of those diets. Another analysis that included only studies with a stronger design that follows people over time (called prospective cohort studies) found a weak five to six percent increase in breast cancer risk when comparing diets at the very highest to the very lowest glycemic index or glycemic load, respectively. Read more… “Do foods high in glycemic index increase breast cancer risk?”

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