Less Red and Processed Meat? New Guidelines May Help Reduce Cancer Risk

16939621_sThis year, for the first time, the US Dietary Guidelines committee may recommend that Americans eat less red and processed meat, a key recommendation from AICR for lowering cancer risk. Every five years, the US Dietary Guidelines are updated based on the committee recommendations and they are due out this year.

According to reports from the committee’s most recent discussions, the 2015 nutrition and eating guidelines may also call for Americans to eat more plant foods, like vegetables, fruit, beans and whole grains, also an AICR recommendation. Research shows that eating patterns like this – more plant foods and minimal red meat –  can help prevent obesity and chronic diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

These 2015 guidelines may also call for lower sodium and specific limits on added sugars.

If enacted, these recommendations will better align with AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention and could, in the long-term, lead to fewer cancer cases. AICR estimates that about 1/3 of the most common cancer cases every year in the US wouldn’t happen if Americans followed a healthy diet, were physically active every day and maintained a healthy weight.

Guidelines like this will inform dietary advice for individuals, but will also set in motion changes for school lunches and other government food and nutrition programs. Read more about the guidelines at health.gov.


New Guidelines Echo AICR’s Dietary Approach

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released this morning and here at AICR, we’re excited about their emphasis on preventing obesity and eating more plant foods.

The new guidelines say that America’s overweight and obesity epidemic played a major role in developing the recommendations. The obesity epidemic carries a steep cost, the guidelines point out,  increasing the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Most are preventable. (For cancer, AICR estimates that over 1/3 of the most common cancers could be prevented if Americans ate healthy, exercised more, and stayed lean.)

A few of the guidelines’ take-home messages include:
• Enjoy your food, but eat less.
• Avoid oversized portions.
• Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Overall, the guidelines support AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention, which also emphasize the importance of staying a healthy weight and eating more plant foods.

So take a look at your plate. If you want to get started putting the guidelines into action tonight, try using AICR’s New American Plate approach.

There’s a lot in the guidelines; you can read all of it here. Stay tuned for more and let us know what you think about them.