Study: Vegetarian Meatloaf Just as Satisfying- and a Bonus for Cancer Prevention

Vegetarian Lentil LoafA fiber-rich bean-based meal can be just as satisfying as a protein-rich beef-based meal, according to a recent short-term study, published in the Journal of Food Science. The findings are good news if you want to cut back on red meat and up your fiber intake – both recommendations for cancer prevention.

This early study included 28 healthy adults (50% women) who consumed 2 “meatloaf” test meals on separate visits matched for portion size, calorie, and total fat content.

  • Meal one was a high protein beef meatloaf, about one-half the daily value of protein (26 grams), and one-eighth the daily value fiber (3 grams).
  • Meal two was a high fiber, moderate protein bean-based “meatloaf” – about one-third the daily value protein (17grams ), and half the daily value fiber (12 grams).

Researchers compared the effect of both meals on reported hunger, satiety, and fullness, as well as calorie intake at later meals.

Source: Bonnema, A, et al., The Effects of a Beef-Based Meal Compared to a Calorie Matched Bean-Based Meal on Appetite and Food Intake. Journal of Food Science, 2015

Source: Bonnema, A, et al., The Effects of a Beef-Based Meal Compared to a Calorie Matched Bean-Based Meal on Appetite and Food Intake. Journal of Food Science, 2015

No differences were reported for appetite ratings or food intake later in the day. Interestingly, participants also reported similar visual appeal, smell, and taste acceptance between the two meals. Those who ate the bean loaf did report more frequent gas and bloating. Continue reading

Diet Swap Alters Gut Bacteria, Signs of Colon Cancer Risk

What you eat can play a big role in preventing colorectal cancer, with research showing that fiber-filled foods lower risk; red and processed meats increase it. Now a study hones in on how diet can affect risk, showing that swapping a high-fiber healthy diet for a low-fiber western-style diet alters gut bacteria and signs of inflammation that may play a role in colon cancer.Choice between healthy apple and unhealthy hamburger

The study is published in Nature Communications and it adds to a growing body of research on how our bacteria – our microbiota – play a role in cancer risk.

For the study, researchers flipped the diets of 20 African Americans and 20 South Africans for two weeks. All the participants had colonoscopy exams before and after the diet swap.
The Americans were served African-style foods, almost quadrupling their fiber intake to an amount equal to over 3.5 cups of beans. At the same time, they cut their calories from fat in half. Africans went the opposite direction, dramatically cutting their fiber and upping their fat intake.

After two weeks on the African diet, the Americans had less markers of inflammation in the colon while those same markers increased among the Africans eating the less healthy diet. There were also opposing increases and decreases of the compound  butyrate, which forms from digesting fiber and is linked to lowering colon cancer risk. The American group was producing more butyrate; the Africans on the American diet less. Continue reading

Make Your Burritos Green

collard-greens-burrito croppedIn 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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