Trans fats banned; what that could mean for your cancer risk

In three years, you won’t be seeing foods with added trans-fat on your grocery shelves, thanks to action from the federal government announced today. The step was taken primarily for heart health but it’s a great opportunity to help you shift to a more cancer-protective diet.

Trans fats are liquid fats that are partially hydrogenated, which makes them last longer on the shelf. A few years ago, you could spot them as an ingredient in many snack and packaged foods, such as margarine, cookies, pizza and chips. (There are also natural trans fats in meats and dairy but only in small amounts and these are not linked to heart health risks.)

Back in 2002, a report found a direct link between trans fat increasing risk of clogged arteries. Manufacturers had already begun phasing out trans fats, mostly replacing them with palm oil. Now, the FDA is mandating all food manufacturers cut partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat over the next three years.

That’s good news for heart health.

Plant and Animal Fats

Fats that fit well on The New American Plate, 2/3 – 1/3 way of eating.

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Overloaded on Nutrition Research? How to Find Clarity.

“Why didn’t they teach any of this in med school?” So began the question and answer session following my presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). My topic: “Information Overload! Helping Patients Distinguish Evidence-Based vs. Anecdotal Nutrition Strategies.”iStock_000005236823_Small

If you sometimes have a sense of information overload about what the research is saying when it comes to cancer prevention, heart disease and other areas of your health, you’re not alone.

Headlines regularly contradict each other about “must-include super foods”, rules about what to avoid, and suggestions that long-held nutrition mantras don’t make any difference after all. As it turns out, the health professionals at AACVPR made it clear that it’s not only their patients who are feeling information overload; they are, too.

In my presentation, we looked at common areas of confusion, going beyond the headlines to put studies within context of overall research.

•    Some observational population studies don’t show a difference in heart disease risk with higher saturated fat. That highlights the importance of looking at overall eating Continue reading

The Science of Common Sense: More Evidence that AICR Recommendations Save Lives

Last week, yet another independent scientific study added to the robust evidence that following AICR’s 10 Recommendations for Cancer Prevention is powerfully protective against a great many diseases and conditions, not simply cancer alone.

This latest study found that childhood cancer survivors who follow more of our Recommendations are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that raises the risk for heart disease and other health problems. We wrote about this new study in this week’s Cancer Research Update, our biweekly email newsletter on breaking cancer news.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 11.38.01 AMPrevious independent studies have shown that our Recommendations protect against breast cancer and prostate cancer, reduce risk for cancer death, help people live longer, and improve cancer survivors’ physical and mental health. This latest study is a welcome addition to the ever-growing evidence that our advice maximizes your chances for leading a long and healthy life.

But in a way, it just makes sense. Continue reading