Cancer-Fighting Whole Grains: Are They Trending on Your Plate?

Today is Whole Grains Sampling Day – a great time to try one (or more) of these delicious cancer-fighting foods.Cereals - maize ,wheat, barley, millet, rye, rice and oats

Whole grain foods are fiber-rich and they promote health in many other ways. But most Americans fall short of the US Dietary Guidelines’ recommendation to make at least half of their grain choices whole grains.

You an explore new choices, one step at a time. Here are some tips I’ve shared with patients and ways that I swap out refined grains for delicious whole grain foods:

If your day typically starts with coffee and a donut or even a white flour bagel:

  • At Home: Try a whole wheat tortilla – Spread on some peanut or other nut butter, add banana or apple slices, roll it up and eat it at home or on your way to work or school.
  • On Your Way: Choose the oatmeal to go at the coffee shop or fast food drive through. Ask for the nuts, fruit and sugar on the side to keep the calories right for you.

For lunch – whether you bring your own frozen meal or grab a sandwich at the local deli:

  • Frozen entrée – take a close look when you’re shopping in the freezer aisle and choose one that includes brown rice.
  • Deli sandwich –ask for whole wheat bread or roll; or look for soup that includes barley or wild rice.

Dinner  - this can be a great time to gradually add more whole grains for you and your family:

  • Spaghetti dinner – cook half whole-wheat thin spaghetti and half white flour spaghetti and top with your favorite sauce.
  • Try whole grain muffin or cornbread mixes for a great accompaniment to your stew, soup or salad meal.

Check out our latest Foods that Fight Cancer- Whole Grains, for ways to start replacing your refined grains with whole grains along with recipes and tips for buying and storing them.

What are ways you put whole grains on your plate?


Your County’s Health and Cancer Risk

The latest report on county health rankings found, once again, where you live makes a  difference to how long you live and your health. The least healthy counties have twice the death rates as the nation’s healthiest, according to the report. Wepeople_03

This is the fifth annual County Health Rankings, a report that compiles data on mortality and 29 health factors, including many that relate to cancer risk. For these factors, the findings are slightly encouraging for the nation. These include:

  • Obesity: Obesity rates for adults are holding steady with a rate of 28 percent for 2012. Prior, obesity rates increased from 16 percent of adults in 1995 to 28 percent in 2010. Aside from smoking, obesity is now the single largest risk factor for cancer. The latest research shows that obesity is a cause of 8 cancers, including post-menopausal breast, ovarian and endometrial. Continue reading


I Saw It on TV… Weight-Loss Myths Women Hear

With AICR’s new report showing for the first time that obesity is linked to ovarian cancer, there are now even more reasons for women to maintain a healthy body weight. I’ve already written about challenges women face when it comes to weight loss, and a recent blog by Colby describes some of the many nutrition myths surrounding cancer risk.iStock_000004672120Small

To help women reduce their risk of ovarian cancer, getting to a healthy weight matters. Let’s look at a few of the many weight loss myths I hear daily from women:

1.    “I heard on Dr. Oz…” This is the start of many conversations I have with patients. It is usually followed by some supplement (e.g. garcinia cambogia) that “leads to weight loss.” There are usually few studies supporting the weight loss benefits of these supplements, potential risks or side effects from taking the supplement, and there is ALWAYS the caveat that a healthy diet and physical activity are needed for it to work. Continue reading