Breakfast: Still Good for Health and Preventing Cancer?

Important or not? If you’ve seen breakfast news stories lately, you may wonder if you need to bother with that steaming bowl of oatmeal or morning yogurt and fruit.Yoghurt with fresh fruits and almonds

The two recent studies, highlighted in Cancer Research Update this week, focused on how breakfast affects weight. These trials were short term, but they do seem to show that if you just don’t like or want to eat breakfast, it may not make a difference for weight loss. If that finding holds, it could give you more flexibility in finding ways that work for you to get extra weight off.

However, there are great reasons to start your day off with something healthy – whether you consider it breakfast or a snack: Continue reading

3 Cancer-Fighting Tips for your Family Vacation

If you’re planning one last summer get-away before it’s back-to-school and back-to-work, make it a time to boost your family’s health to stay on the road to a cancer preventive lifestyle.

Starting early in life to help your children develop healthy habits can pay off now and in the future because it can help them learn how to make healthy eating and staying active a routine part of their daily choices.

Here’s three ideas for your vacation, which you can make fun and delicious with a little organizing and family input.

  1. Personalize snack stash: allow your children to pack their own snack sack for the road. With a few ground rules, take them shopping so they can select their own fresh fruit and vegetable, favorite cheese or yogurt, whole grain crackers and sweet treat. These are snacks they can eat when they want – 5 miles down the road, or they can space them out over a few days. This can go a long way to limit impulse purchases at the convenience store or airport.
  2. Family Fitness: Plan ahead for some physical activity every day. You could have family members each choose one activity that can be done by everyone – for example, take along jump ropes, Frisbees, stretch bands, sturdy walking shoes or yoga mats. Here’s a video of some basic stretch band exercises, for example.
  3. Explore local foods: Check out area farmer’s markets, family friendly farms or other food outlets that promote locally grown produce. Besides finding some tasty specialties, you may get to hear farmers, growers and producers’ talk about their food, how it was grown and how they like to prepare it.

Check out Healthy Kids Today – Prevent Cancer Tomorrow tookits for great ideas, activities and recipes to get your kids excited about healthy habits.

Calories or Carbs? Weight, Health and Cancer Prevention

A calorie is a calorie – eat too many and you’ll gain weight; eat less and you’ll lose weight. Sounds simple, but a New York Times article by two obesity researchers is making headlines, and they question whether focusing on calories alone is really the answer for weight loss. It’s an important issue because obesity links to eight different cancers.Healthy versus unhealthy.

Their hypothesis, published last Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, proposes that the driving force for obesity in America is because we eat too many refined carbohydrates – chips, cakes, soft drinks, sugary foods and refined grains – rather than just too many calories. They say eating these foods can lead to higher insulin levels and an environment in our body that promotes fat storage. Their proposal that type of food is more important than total calories for both becoming obese and for losing weight is interesting, but does need more research.

What research is clear on – we know that cutting back on sugary foods and drinks and other refined carbohydrate foods is one important strategy in a total program for health and weight loss. And substituting whole plant foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains can help lower cancer risk. Continue reading