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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    Portion Size, Energy Density and Losing Weight – What Works

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    This week, researchers opened our conference tackling one of the most important lifestyle issues related to cancer:  Exploring ways to effectively harness the power of healthy diet and exercise to help people get to and stay a healthy weight.

    That’s an urgent need, because after smoking, obesity is now the leading lifestyle risk factor for eleven cancers, including colorectal, pancreatic and postmenopausal breast.

    Dr. Barbara Rolls talked about our food environment, portion sizes and energy density and how those factors play a role in weight. She’s an international expert in how energy density (how many calories are in each bite compared to other foods) affects how many calories people eat. Results from her latest study suggest that several strategies using portion awareness, pre-portioned foods or just trying to eat less can all result in meaningful weight loss over a year’s time. Read more… “Portion Size, Energy Density and Losing Weight – What Works”

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      Lycopene lowering prostate cancer risk – ways to eat your lycopene

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      A new study presented today at AICR’s 25th Research Conference suggests that lycopene-containing foods may lower prostate cancer risk. That would be good news for cancer risk, but also because these foods provide an abundance of nutrients, like vitamins C, A and other phytochemicals.

      Americans get lycopene mostly from tomatoes and tomato products like sauce, juice and pizza. But try other delicious choices like red and pink grapefruit, red carrots, papaya, guava and watermelon.

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      Although evidence isn’t strong enough overall to say foods with lycopene lower prostate cancer risk, AICR is working to tease apart how food and other lifestyle factors affect different types of this cancer. In the meantime, eating more of these foods contributes to an overall cancer-protective diet.

      Read more about the full study on foods containing lycopene and lower prostate cancer.

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