Straight from Nashville, we’re just back from the annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo – a meeting highlighting the latest research on how foods affect our health and diseases, such as cancer risk. It’s a conference geared towards dietitians, so it’s also a place where companies showcase their health-related foods.
What were the big food trends and research takeaways related to cancer risk? Here’s a few of the conference highlights.
From the expo hall
several cereals are now incorporating sorghum
– Beans and whole grains are big. This is a crowd that loves these foods – as do we here at AICR – but there appears to be a revival of beans and lentil products making their way into the supermarkets. There were numerous new ideas to cook with lentils, a high protein and high fiber food, including these recipes: Coconut Cream Overnight Oats and Lentils and Lentil Fudge.
The ancient grain sorghum also appears to be increasingly making its way into products. It’s drought-resistant and gluten free, two traits that are making it popular. (Plain, it tastes similar to barley.) Sorghum can be served as a hot breakfast cereal, as a side or salad mixed with vegetables, or in stews and soups, like this Chicken, Leek and Sorghum soup. Continue reading
Heart disease, cancer and diabetes together cause about 1.3 million deaths each year in the US. A key lifestyle strategy for preventing and/or managing these diseases is getting to and staying a healthy weight. But losing weight – and keeping it off – is hard, and though many people are able to improve their weight, many more struggle to be successful.
Last month an editorial in Open Heart made a strong case that it’s time to stop counting calories and instead, focus on WHAT you eat.
A healthy diet, with plenty of vegetables and healthy fats, has both quick results for better health and long-term benefits for weight, argue the authors. They cite studies looking at how shifting to a healthy diet can lead to immediate positive effect on cardiovascular disease and diabetes. One of their examples is from the PREDIMED study where participants who ate a Mediterranean, plant-based diet with nuts and olive oil, but not calorie restriction, showed lower rates of type 2 diabetes and improved metabolic health.
We also know – from AICR’s evidence-based recommendations – that eating a diet built on plant foods like vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts, can reduce risk for many cancers, including colorectal and endometrial.
But survey after survey finds that the vast majority of adults and kids in our country are not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Continue reading
If you saw this label on a food you were about to eat, how would you interpret the serving size? If you’re like most people, you would say that 2/3 cup is the recommended serving for this food, and that common misinterpretation may soon lead you to eat more than you should when the nutrition label serving sizes boost upwards, suggests a recent study published in the journal Appetite
This could cause the unintended consequence of weight gain. AICR’s first recommendation, maintaining a healthy weight, is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce cancer risk.
The serving size on the nutrition label – that 2/3 cup – actually represents the amount most people eat in one sitting. And it’s about to change for about one in five food items as part of the FDA plans to revise the label. We wrote about it here. The proposed label will adjust the serving sizes to more accurately represent what people typically eat, which is more than the current serving sizes. For example, the serving size for ice cream would increase from one-half cup to one cup. Continue reading