Fact Check: For Cancer Risk, Diet Matters

An article in this morning’s New York Times Science Section, “An Apple a Day, and Other Myths,” attempts to grapple with the complex nature of diet-cancer science, but leaves the reader with a very misleading impression of the state of the research.Reports_blog

The article quotes a recent talk by epidemiologist, and AICR Expert Panel member Dr. Walter Willett. “Diet and cancer has turned out to be more complex and challenging than any of us expected,” he said. All of us at AICR know this only too well. Unfortunately, the article goes on to equate “complex and challenging” with “does not matter.”

“Make no mistake,” says AICR Director of Research Susan Higginbotham, PhD, RD, “this is not a conclusion that accords with an objective and systematic analysis of the available science. If there’s one thing AICR’s research has shown, and continues to show, it’s that when it comes to cancer risk, diet does matter.” Continue reading


Grilling, Soy and Sugar: Questions on Diet and Cancer

Cutting through diet and cancer headlines and hype isn’t easy for anyone, including your health care providers. They also look for help understanding the evidence and putting the latest studies in perspective.Grilled Steaks

Last month I was in Atlanta, talking about obesity and cancer with dietitians who work with all kinds of people, from kids to seniors, and doing prevention, clinical work, food service and more. Here are a few common questions they asked, reflecting the questions they get from patients, clients and friends.

1.         Grilling: How bad is charring for cancer risk and should we still grill?

AICR’s expert report and updates say there isn’t enough evidence to show that grilled meat increases risk for stomach cancer. But we do know that grilling meat – both red and white – creates cancer-causing substances, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) to form. Because there are ways to limit these substances forming, we recommend 5 ways you can grill more safely. Continue reading


The Beauty of Beets…Countdown to Vote

beet-salad croppedOnce you’ve tasted fresh beets, you’ll be enchanted by their sweet taste and beautiful color. Our Health-e-Recipe for Beet, Carrot and Apple Salad shreds them with tart Granny Smith apples, carrots and chopped walnuts into a cancer-preventive salad.

Beets contain potassium, vitamin C, folate and fiber. Their phytochemicals include betalains, a class of health-protecting compounds that may be best absorbed when uncooked. Beet greens – which can be eaten lightly steamed – provide lutein, a phytochemical that protects eyesight and is also found in spinach (a botanical relative of beets).

In the U.S., fresh beets are often roasted. Eating them raw is more unusual, yet once you have, you may prefer them to the pickled versions that are high in sodium and may be packaged with added sugar. (Our recipe also tells you how to peel them without coloring your hands red.)

This week’s recipe marks our #499th issue. You can help us pick our milestone 500th Health-e-Recipe by voting in our Championship Round. It’s Lasagna versus Brussels sprouts: Vote in Recipe 500.