New Nutrition Label, New Tool for Cancer Prevention

In the next couple of years, it may be easier to know whether your packaged food choice is a cancer fighter or an empty calorie bust.

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

The FDA unveiled their proposed Nutrition Facts Label and the emphasis is clearly on calories, added sugar and serving sizes. That’s important, because eating too many calories means weight gain, and consuming sugary drinks is strongly linked with weight gain, overweight and obesity.

And, 117,000 cases of cancer every year are caused by obesity in the U.S., so anything that shines a light on how much we are actually eating is a step in the right direction.

To be clear, many of the best cancer-fighting foods don’t have labels on them. Think tomatoes, carrots, apples, squash, blueberries, leafy greens and any fruit or vegetable in the produce section. But in many grocery aisles, you may need some help with choosing foods like soups, yogurt and cereals.

Here are 3 ways the new label will help you choose cancer fighters:

1.            Big, Bold Calories: It’s the first thing that you see –no confusion about how many calories you’re getting. You will need to know how to put calories in context, though. But if you know you’re aiming for about 1600 calories per day, for example, a snack that packs more than 200 calories may help you put that food back on the shelf.

Eat so that you can get to and stay a healthy weight – it is the most important thing you can do to lower cancer risk (after not smoking). Continue reading


A Tasty Fish Dish for Cancer Prevention Month

tilapia croppedOur Health-e-Recipe for Broiled Tilapia with Mustard and Yogurt Sauce puts fish on your plate as part of National Cancer Prevention Month.

Eating fish is one way to cut back on red meat; AICR recommends eating no more than 18 ounces of red meat a week for lower risk of cancer.

Some fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, especially salmon, white albacore tuna, trout and sardines. Although tilapia is not up there with the top omega-3 providers, it’s easy on a budget and versatile to many flavors.

This recipe is easy to prepare and has only 200 calories per serving. Yet each serving also contains a generous 34 grams of protein, about one-third the amount recommended daily for strong bones.

The sauce of lemon, mustard, Greek yogurt and chives works well with other kinds of fish, too – such as salmon, perch and flounder. For a guide to making smart seafood choices, visit The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

Find more delicious cancer-preventive recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


6 Habits for Restaurant Dining and Lower Cancer Risk

In the U.S. we eat about one-third of our food away from home – including both fast food and full service restaurants. A study published this week in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that you may be getting almost an entire day’s worth of calories in one sit-down restaurant meal.bigstock-Eat-healthy-with-this-menu-of--35851439

The researchers looked at the nutritional value of meals at 21 full-service restaurant chains and found that, on average, a single meal (entrée, side and one-half appetizer) contains almost 1500 calories, 28 grams saturated fat and 3300 milligrams sodium. Add a shared dessert and a beverage and the calories jump to over 2000.

Eating this way regularly can lead to overweight and obesity – and increased risk for several cancers, including colorectal, post-menopausal breast and pancreatic cancer. Continue reading