A Vegan Saag Packed with a Medley of Cancer-Protection

spinach-saag-and-golden-tofu copyFans of Indian food know that saag is a spinach sauce seasoned with cumin, turmeric and other spices that have cancer-preventing qualities. Our new Healthy Recipe for Spinach Saag (pronounced sog) uses health-protective soy as the protein in this delicious dish.

Restaurants feature saag made with paneer, a type of Indian cottage cheese. Paneer has a similar texture and color to firm tofu, made from soybeans. Soy adds protein, nutrients and a set of phytochemicals called isoflavones to your foods.

In this recipe, the tofu is given an appetizing golden color from sautéing first in neutrally-flavored canola oil. If the canola oil doesn’t produce enough of a golden effect, stir in a pinch of turmeric as you sautee it. When you add the tofu to the spinach sauce, it will absorb the flavors of the turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, garam masala spice mix and onions. Continue reading


Trans fats banned; what that could mean for your cancer risk

In three years, you won’t be seeing foods with added trans-fat on your grocery shelves, thanks to action from the federal government announced today. The step was taken primarily for heart health but it’s a great opportunity to help you shift to a more cancer-protective diet.

Trans fats are liquid fats that are partially hydrogenated, which makes them last longer on the shelf. A few years ago, you could spot them as an ingredient in many snack and packaged foods, such as margarine, cookies, pizza and chips. (There are also natural trans fats in meats and dairy but only in small amounts and these are not linked to heart health risks.)

Back in 2002, a report found a direct link between trans fat increasing risk of clogged arteries. Manufacturers had already begun phasing out trans fats, mostly replacing them with palm oil. Now, the FDA is mandating all food manufacturers cut partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat over the next three years.

That’s good news for heart health.

Plant and Animal Fats

Fats that fit well on The New American Plate, 2/3 – 1/3 way of eating.

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Study: Nutrient versus Food for Disease Prevention, Who Wins?

What do you think is better at preventing cancer and other chronic diseases: A) a potassium supplement or B) a banana?

If you think like a group of college students, a new study suggests you’ll answer A.

banana potassium LABELEDThe study looked at which of two schools of thought was most common when it comes to the connection between diet and disease. On the one hand is the belief that nutrients like potassium are the most critical for preventing disease. Others take the stance that the whole foods that contain these nutrients are the key to better health.

In the study, about 110 participants read scenarios describing an active, generally healthy, young man named “Steve” who was living a typical American middle-class lifestyle. The description of his diet either emphasized “healthy” nutrients (potassium, omega-3s, vitamin C, calcium, and iron) or “healthy” whole foods (bananas, fish, oranges, milk, and spinach). Participants were then asked how likely they thought Steve was to experience different diet-related chronic diseases in his lifetime. Continue reading