If you’re like the average American, more than half of your diet is filled with processed foods. Many of these foods are full of added sugar and fat and contribute to overweight and obesity. This matters for cancer prevention, because obesity is linked to higher risk, and a healthy diet links to lower risk for many common cancers, as well as other chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Q: I’m following a heart-healthy diet. How can I adapt that for cancer prevention?
A: Eating for heart health and cancer prevention aren’t as different as you may think. We used to think about heart disease and cancer as having separate risk factors, but now we know that just as tobacco increases risk of both, eating and physical activity habits also affect risk of both.
Whole grains can add fantastic flavor and texture to your meals as well as support long-term health. Eating whole grains promotes healthy digestion, can aid in maintaining a healthy weight, and lower your risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Clearly, whole grains beat out refined grains for your family’s health any day of the week. Packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant compounds called phytochemicals you can feel good about including them in your family’s diet . So why choose white when you can get the whole health benefits!
For Cancer Prevention Month, why not challenge yourself to try a new whole grain recipe each week? Have your kids help you explore the endless variety of tasty whole grains!
Here are some ways to get started:
Choose whole grain mac-n-cheese over white flour pasta. You can also boost fiber by adding pureed sweet potato, chopped sautéed cauliflower or peas.