“Eat Butter”? The Skinny On Saturated Fat

The cover story on this week’s issue of TIME Magazine is making waves – and driving sales at the nation’s checkout counters. The article traces the recent history of nutrition science, specifically the 20th-century vogue for health messages about cutting consumption of saturated fat. It does a nice job laying out how those messages were seized upon by food marketers to create today’s grocery aisles thronged with “fat-free” and “low-fat” processed foods.Tasty butter on wooden cutting board isolated on white

But ironically, in its effort to rehabilitate the reputation of saturated fat by showing how that food component has been isolated and demonized, the article effectively demonizes carbohydrates, blaming them for the same health conditions once widely linked with saturated fat.

It’s only the latest article in the popular press to do this. But while it makes a compelling read, singling out any one food or food component for blame oversimplifies a field of study marked by complexity and nuance.

As a cancer research and education organization, we should note that AICR’s expert reports and their updates have found no strong links between dietary fat itself –whether saturated or unsaturated – and cancer risk. Instead, it’s the fat we carry on our bodies that is strongly linked to increased risk for eight different cancers. Continue reading


Workplace Tools for Healthy Eating and Cancer Prevention

Most of us need to eat at least one meal or make some food choices while we’re on the job, whether putting in an 8 hour day at an office, doing shift work at night or working at home. Those seemingly minor daily food choices add up to make a big difference in our health and weight – affecting our risk for cancer and other diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-tomato-plate-image20125697

If you have a cafeteria or local shops and restaurants with healthful choices at prices that work for you, that convenience makes it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan while on the job. But for many, the choices can be bleak, uninspiring and unhealthy.

I like to carry my own lunch, because it’s healthier and more satisfying. But I have challenges packing a lunch consistently – getting all the components into a state for ready-to-pack is often a big barrier for me.

What’s helping me now are my workplace pantry tools – here are some examples of my stash: Continue reading


Is Your Morning Glass of OJ as Unhealthy as a Soda?

People are talking a lot about sugar these days, especially one kind called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – a sugar that seems to be added to just about all sweets in a box or package. HFCS usually contains more of one type of sugar – fructose – than table sugar or corn syrup.http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-oranges-table-man-drinking-orange-juice-image26777565

We know that too many sugary drinks – regardless of the type of sugar – can lead to obesity, which is a cause of eight different cancers. But some researchers believe that fructose is more harmful than other sugars, leading to a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Others disagree, leaving the research to be inconclusive.

As the research continues on fructose, a new study published in the journal Nutrition, says that many sugary beverages Americans are drinking –  whether it’s HFCS soda or apple juice — actually contain similar amounts of fructose. Fructose is one of the two sugars that make up sucrose or table sugar; it is also a natural sugar found in fruit and fruit juice.

For their study, the researchers analyzed the sugar concentrations of the most popular sodas, 100% fruit juices, and juice drinks, including sports drinks. The researchers found that fructose levels among some HFCS drinks are often higher than a commonly used database researchers use. Continue reading