Weight Loss, Cancer Prevention and Health: Why Vegetables and Fruits Matter

If you’ve been working hard to eat more broccoli or blueberries, headlines like “Fruits and vegetables don’t lead to weight loss, study says” can drive you crazy. You may wonder if it’s worth the effort. I certainly hear from people questioning whether they can trust any nutrition and weight loss messages when they see headlines like these.NAP-Plate-v02

Make no mistake about it, fruits and vegetables are a key part of a cancer-preventive diet. And they can play a role in getting to and staying a healthy weight – important for lowering risk for eight cancers and other chronic diseases. Even the authors of that recent study acknowledge that in their paper. So why the confusing messages?

Here’s what that study was about: The authors say that health organizations promote increasing veggies and fruit for weight loss without explaining the need to also decrease overall calories. So they looked for studies that tested the idea that simply adding vegetables and fruit to your diet will lead to weight loss. Continue reading


A Spicy and Healthy Spinach Salad

mexican-spinach-salad croppedJuly’s hot weather salad days are here. If you’re looking for a more exciting salad that bites you back, try our Health-e-Recipe for Mexican Spinach Salad.

Poblano chiles spice up these greens, which by themselves contain important cancer-fighting substances. They’re used in cuisines from hot climates where spices can help to cool you off by making you perspire. Chiles also contain plant compounds called capsaicin, which lab studies suggest may help keep unhealthy inflammation at bay.

Feta cheese, pumpkin seeds and crunchy corn chips for garnish also make this salad interesting. Top it with our easy honey-lime dressing, which you can use on other salads as well. To make it a more complete meal, add a half-cup of chopped roast chicken breast to each serving (for another 150 calories and lean protein).

Find more delicious cancer-fighting recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


Survey: Diners – Especially Women – Using Posted Menu Calories

If you spot calorie information on your restaurant menu, does it help you decide what to order?http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-woman-ordering-food-image21147851

For about six of every ten adults living in select states, that calorie information does help them decide what to order. At least sometimes, that is, with about one of every ten diners using that nutrition information for every purchase, according to a new government survey.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study comes from residents of 17 states that have menu labeling and completed a 2012 phone survey about it. In 2010, a federal law required chain restaurants to display the calories of their menu items, and some states started those requirements quickly.  Given that some studies show Americans eat up to a quarter of our calories at restaurants, using calorie information may help restaurant-goers make healthier choices. That, in turn, can reduce cancer risk.

Respondents were only counted if they visited fast food or chain restaurants and noticed the menu labeling. Among the findings: Continue reading