Study: Smaller Food Pieces May Up Your Calories

When will you eat a cup of food that is half the calories of another cup of that same food? When that food is made of larger, fluffier pieces, suggests a new study. top view of various kids cereals in colorful bowls on wooden tab

The study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, focused on breakfast cereals. By eating flakes that were larger and took up more space in the bowl, people ate 100 calories less for breakfast than when eating the smaller, denser flaked cereal.

The findings relate to AICR’s recommendation for cancer prevention on eating mainly plant foods, which are low in calorie (energy) density. Bite for bite, many vegetables and other plant foods contain relatively few calories. That can help with weight control, which in turn reduces cancer risk. In the study, each week for four weeks, 41 breakfast eaters were offered 10 ounces (280 grams) of Wheaties.

Unbeknownst to them, the flake size was changed. One week they were served the cereal as packaged, considered the standard. The other three weeks they were given cereals where the flakes were crushed to 80%, 60% or 40% of the standard. As the flakes got smaller, the cereal took up less room in the bowl. Continue reading


The Beauty of Beets…Countdown to Vote

beet-salad croppedOnce you’ve tasted fresh beets, you’ll be enchanted by their sweet taste and beautiful color. Our Health-e-Recipe for Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad shreds them with tart Granny Smith apples, carrots and chopped walnuts into a cancer-preventive salad.

Beets contain potassium, vitamin C, folate and fiber. Their phytochemicals include betalains, a class of health-protecting compounds that may be best absorbed when uncooked. Beet greens – which can be eaten lightly steamed – provide lutein, a phytochemical that protects eyesight and is also found in spinach (a botanical relative of beets).

In the U.S., fresh beets are often roasted. Eating them raw is more unusual, yet once you have, you may prefer them to the pickled versions that are high in sodium and may be packaged with added sugar. (Our recipe also tells you how to peel them without coloring your hands red.)

This week’s recipe marks our #499th issue. You can help us pick our milestone 500th Health-e-Recipe by voting in our Championship Round. It’s Lasagna versus Brussels sprouts: Vote in Recipe 500.


Study: Eating High Amounts of Fats May Increase Risk of Certain Breast Tumors

For both pre- and postmenopausal breast cancers, the many studies looking on whether dietary fat matters has resulted in no clear conclusions. Now comes a study from Italy suggesting that it does for certain types of breast tumors, including the most common type.Fat, Fat and Fat

The study suggests that consuming high amounts of total fat, and saturated fats specifically, links to increased risk of breast tumors fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. About three quarters of US breast tumors are estrogen-receptor positive (ER+). The majority of those also grow in response to progesterone.

The increased risk was most pronounced for high amounts of saturated fat, the type of fat from burgers, butter and primarily animal sources.

Here’s the study abstract, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

This is one study, and it will be added to the body of evidence on breast cancer prevention in AICR/WCRF’s Continuous Update Project (CUP). In the latest CUP report, there was not enough evidence on total dietary fat to make a conclusion for pre- or postmenopausal cancers. Continue reading