New Diet Rankings: The Best Ones Look Like… Our Diet for Cancer Prevention

Just in time for your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and lose weight, US News published Best Diets 2016, a comprehensive review of diets of all kinds, including for overall health, weight loss and chronic disease prevention. They didn’t include lowering cancer risk in their analysis, but I couldn’t help but notice that most of the highest ranking diets would work well with AICR’s New American Plate model – designed for reducing risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.46467264_s

They asked experts in nutrition and weight loss to rate – using the research behind them – how strong the diets are for long and short term weight loss, nutrition, safety, preventing and managing diabetes and heart disease, and how easy it is to follow. The DASH diet (to lower hypertension)won in the most categories, with Weight Watchers ranking highly too. Others scoring well were a diet for brain health (MIND) and for lowering cholesterol (TLC). Continue reading

New Dietary Guidelines: Helping You With Plant Foods, Added Sugar; Misses Mark on Meat

The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans are out and they take a step in the right direction to help you make choices to lower your risk for cancer. Two key pieces of advice–eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of plant foods and keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum. And that could mean fewer cases of cancer associated with poor diet and obesity.2015 Dietary Guidelines_Draft 2[1]

You can put these into practice with our New American Plate model – filling at least 2/3 of your plate with vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruit, and 1/3 or less with fish, poultry, meat and dairy.

The guidelines also recommend keeping your added sugar to 10 percent or less of your total calories. As we wrote earlier about the nutrition label and sugar, if you follow a 2000 calorie diet, you could have about one cup of fruit yogurt and one small dark chocolate bar. That’s because foods with high amounts of added sugar contribute to overweight and obesity, a cause of 10 cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast and kidney.

Unfortunately, the Dietary Guidelines does not reflect the evidence-based recommendation from the independent expert committee to advise Americans to limit red and processed meat. It is disappointing that industry lobbying efforts succeeded in preventing the clear and simple message that these increase risk for colorectal cancer. AICR research has shown that red and processed meats are convincingly linked to colorectal cancer, and the World Health Organization has also recently established that link. Here’s our recommendation:Red Processed Meat Rec

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Study: Drinking Coffee Links to Lower Melanoma Risk

Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in the US and is the leading cause of skin cancer death. The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 74,000 new cases in 2015. Currently, the only established lifestyle risk factor for this disease is exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), primarily from sun and tanning beds.Coffee still life

Now, a new analysis from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study links coffee drinking with lower risk for the most aggressive form of melanoma. The study used data from 1/2 million non-Hispanic whites who were cancer-free and aged 50-71 when the study began in 1995.

The researchers looked at participants’ daily coffee intake – none; one cup or less; 2-3 cups or 4 or more cups. They found that those drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk for the aggressive type of melanoma – called malignant melanoma – compared to non-coffee drinkers. Then, they looked at whether participants drank decaf or caffeinated coffee. They did not find a significant difference in malignant melanoma risk for decaf drinkers compared to non-drinkers, but for those who drank regular coffee, there was a 25% lower risk compared to non-coffee consumers. Continue reading