The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the Mediterranean Diet as one way to eat healthfully. Yet pasta, a common food in this diet, is often seen as packing on the pounds. So scientists in Italy wanted to see if they could tease apart how pasta, as part of the Mediterranean diet, may affect a person’s weight and body shape.
That’s important for cancer risk, because understanding how the food you and your family eat every day affects weight is one important key to lower risk. AICR’s evidence shows that having too much body fat links to higher risk for eleven types of cancer, including colorectal, liver and postmenopausal breast.
Eating plenty of plant foods, being active and following AICR’s other recommendations for cancer prevention consistently and significantly decreases cancer incidence and death, finds the first independently-conducted review of the research on the topic. The study was published today in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.
Today the Food and Drug Administration announced it will be making major changes to the Nutrition Facts Label found on US packaged foods. The American Institute for Cancer Research applauds these changes, which will take place over the next three years. Here’s how the new information can help you lower your cancer risk.
1. Calories are big and bold. If you’re trying to lose weight or stay at a healthy weight, knowing how these foods fit into your diet is important. You can see at a glance whether these calories fit your needs and easily compare to other foods for the smartest choice.
2. Serving sizes are more realistic. You will be able to know more accurately how many calories you’re getting because servings sizes are more in line with typical portions Americans eat. For packages where people usually eat or drink it all in one sitting, such as a 20 ounce soda, the calories and other nutrients will refer to the entire package.
3. Added sugars are now on the label. This is important for cancer prevention, because now you’ll know how much sugar has been added to foods like yogurt, flavored milks and sweetened fruit drinks. AICR research shows that eating food and drinks high in sugar can lead to overweight and obesity, which is a cause of 11 different types of cancer. AICR, along with other health organizations, urged the FDA to make this change.
The new label will list vitamin D and potassium, for which many Americans struggle to meet the recommended daily amount. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required on the label.
As always, AICR recommends choosing minimally processed foods like vegetables, fruits and other plant foods as often as possible. When you do reach for a packaged food product, these changes will make it easier to make informed choices about what you eat.