We all know family members or friends that have been touched by cancer. But even though we know that cancer can affect as many as one in every two Americans at some point in their lives, it’s easy to forget to take action now to prevent cancer tomorrow! Even now with new research showing that overweight girls are at increased risk of colorectal cancer decades later with busy schedules, prevention can seem like too much of a bother.
But fighting cancer is most effective when it is started early and for our kids, that means now!
Making changes in your diet to include more cancer preventative foods doesn’t have to mean hours of cooking everything from scratch! Some simple and inexpensive shortcuts can mean delicious, healthy meals with almost nothing more required than just a quick assembly. Below are some ideas to get you started:
1. Microwave a cup of frozen corn, covered by a damp paper towel, for 2 minutes in a medium bowl. Add well-rinsed, canned black beans, and heat for an additional 1-2 minutes. Top with fresh salsa and presto – an instant delicious side for chicken, tofu, lean beef or scrambled eggs! Continue reading
Last week, a lot of headlines featured news about an analysis that found eating the healthiest of diets costs more per day – about $1.50 more – than the least healthy diet.
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The analysis of research was published in BMJ Open and it’s important information for cancer prevention. Eating a diet with plenty of fiber, fruits, vegetables and other healthful foods plays a role in cancer risk and weight. A healthy diet and a healthy weight could prevent approximately 120,000 US cancers each year.
Doing the math, eating the healthiest diets on average cost about $550 more a year than the least healthy. That’s a barrier for many, as the authors point out.
But cancer – along with the other chronic diseases related to an unhealthy diet – has an expensive toll. Globally, cancer costs more than any other disease, such as heart disease, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS.
There’s been a lot of press lately on the cost of foods after a USDA report found that healthier foods are not necessarily more expensive.
But one reason people turn to less healthy options is because often, they are just more convenient. Take the time to make your own popcorn and you’ll get whole grain goodness with only 31 calories; microwaving a pre-packed bag saves time but runs about 85 calories. Cooking up brown rice, spices and veggies doesn’t cost that much, but sometimes it’s a lot easier to grab the box. Those packaged, boxed meals or convenience foods are…convenient. They are also typically heavy on the calories, sodium, and fat.
But they don’t have to be. There are ways you can get all the convenience of those packaged foods, save money, and eat a cancer-protective diet. In my last blog I wrote about a study to promote healthy purchasing in a low-income area of Baltimore. Here are some budget-friendly tips we used:
1. Snack seasonally.
Rather than grabbing chips or cookies, take a piece of fruit or a vegetable that you can have on the go. The cost of fresh fruits and vegetables changes with the time of year, and when they are in season you can buy them for a lot less money (and help support local farmers, too!). Peaches are in peak season right now, and packed with vitamin C. Continue reading