Diets high in fruits, vegetables and other foods with fewer calories per bite may lower an older women’s risk of breast cancer compared to women who eat lots of high calorie-dense foods, suggests a new study. The findings suggest the link is independent of overweight and obesity, a risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer.
In this study researchers looked at energy density, the amount of calories in a certain weight of food, typically a gram. Cakes, ice cream and other foods heavy in oils and added sugars are high in energy density. Low energy-dense foods are higher in water and fiber, making these foods generally lower in calories for every gram. Vegetables, fruits and many unprocessed grains are generally low in energy-density.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced they want to redefine what the “healthy” claim on food packages means. Healthy is an official term that food manufacturers are allowed to put on a processed food if it meets certain FDA nutrient requirements.
The FDA rethinking comes after a manufacturer objected that their product could not be labeled healthy because it isn’t low fat – it contains whole nuts. They won their case, citing US Dietary Guidelines that say type of fat has more relevance to health than the amount of fat in a single food. High fat foods like nuts and avocados are part of overall healthy and cancer-protective diets, like the Mediterranean diet.
It’s important to know that these claims are designed for processed foods or food products, as a marketing tool – not for whole foods like vegetables, fruit, beans and whole grains like brown rice and barley. Marian Nestle explained this in her Food Politics blog last week. Read more… “What does healthy mean? Tell FDA”
Can seeing food in your kitchen and easy serving make a difference in how much you eat? A study authored by an architect and an environmental psychologist published this month suggests that may be an unintended outcome of the popular open kitchen design in homes.
That’s important because how many calories you eat affects your weight, and that affects cancer risk.