Overweight and obesity are responsible for about 120,000 cases of cancer in the United States each year. Nearly 1 in 2 Americans develops cancer at some point in their lives.
Although cancer touches many of us, many parents and health educators are unaware that prevention starts early – in childhood, or even in utero! Diet can affect not only your health, but that of generations to come. Last month, I spoke about healthy eating strategies for parents and educators in a webinar, working with AICR.
Here are some highlighted tips for cancer prevention:
Eat more beans. They’re packed with phytochemicals and fiber –both, which can play a role in disease prevention. To cut back on sodium in canned beans, rinse them first. It decreases the sodium content by as much as 40%.
Find creative ways to move more! Have a “dark party” with your kids and their friends. Buy a pack of Glow-sticks and give each child a couple, crank up the volume on their favorite dance tunes and turn off the lights!
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the arrival of Spring, try our new cancer-protective recipe that will make your burritos green.
Beans and Greens Burritos are green in color and environmentally friendly (because they’re meatless). These burritos have only 120 calories each yet 6 grams of cancer-fighting fiber. Lightly cooked, collard greens have large leaves that are soft enough to chew yet firm enough to hold the black bean, brown rice and corn stuffing.
Including dark leafy greens in a meal once a day is a terrific health booster. Cook tougher greens like collards, kale, chard or spinach by steaming them or putting them in soups, stews and sauces. Expand your salads with arugula, watercress or baby spinach. You’ll get cancer-preventive carotenoids like lutein, plus calcium, potassium and some iron.
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For employees who are stressed at work or struggle to make a healthy dinner for their family, a new study finds that a flexible workplace program can help address these concerns and lead to weight loss, adding almost half an hour of weekly physical activity, and improving many other risk factors.
The study focused on employees at risk for type 2 diabetes (86 million US adults are at risk). Lowering risk for type 2 diabetes also means reduced risk for some cancers, including colon, breast (postmenopausal), pancreas and endometrium. Type 2 diabetes increases risk of some cancers, and both diseases share several risk factors such as obesity, elevated insulin levels, and physical inactivity.
The study, published last week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found significant improvement in weight, waist size, insulin levels and physical activity in participants. About 90 employees participated by attending group classes or watching a DVD and having a weekly phone call with the lifestyle coach, or a combination of those. Continue reading →