New Nutrition Label, New Tool for Cancer Prevention

In the next couple of years, it may be easier to know whether your packaged food choice is a cancer fighter or an empty calorie bust.

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

The FDA unveiled their proposed Nutrition Facts Label and the emphasis is clearly on calories, added sugar and serving sizes. That’s important, because eating too many calories means weight gain, and consuming sugary drinks is strongly linked with weight gain, overweight and obesity.

And, 117,000 cases of cancer every year are caused by obesity in the U.S., so anything that shines a light on how much we are actually eating is a step in the right direction.

To be clear, many of the best cancer-fighting foods don’t have labels on them. Think tomatoes, carrots, apples, squash, blueberries, leafy greens and any fruit or vegetable in the produce section. But in many grocery aisles, you may need some help with choosing foods like soups, yogurt and cereals.

Here are 3 ways the new label will help you choose cancer fighters:

1.            Big, Bold Calories: It’s the first thing that you see –no confusion about how many calories you’re getting. You will need to know how to put calories in context, though. But if you know you’re aiming for about 1600 calories per day, for example, a snack that packs more than 200 calories may help you put that food back on the shelf.

Eat so that you can get to and stay a healthy weight – it is the most important thing you can do to lower cancer risk (after not smoking). Continue reading


Heart Healthy Living: It’s Also Cancer Prevention Living

Don’t be surprised if the next time you get your cholesterol tested, your doctor talks to you about a plant-based diet – vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. New guidelines released yesterday for heart healthy living highlight that how you eat and move for heart health are what we know can also help you prevent cancer. dreamstime_xs_32027497

These new evidence-based  guidelines for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) include lifestyle, drug and obesity management recommendations. They come from expert task forces convened by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

For the first time, the recommendations for heart healthy eating focus on overall eating patterns, rather than just saturated fat or sodium. That’s good news, because examples they give, such as DASH and Mediterranean diets, are plant-based eating patterns. They also align with AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention, including limiting sugary beverages, red meat and salt/sodium.

Here are key take-aways from the new heart health guidelines: Continue reading


Cut the Sugar, Boost Your Beverage for Cancer Prevention

iced tea peaches dreamstime_xs_20982385_350I’ve been thinking about how sugary drinks affect Americans’ health lately.  Recent findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that sugar sweetened beverages promotes weight gain in children and adults. And I was preparing for an interview on foods I avoid/limit in my diet – like sugary drinks.

AICR’s expert report and updates also find that these drinks cause weight gain and obesity. And excess body fat is one of the causes of 7 different cancers, including post-menopausal breast and colorectal.

These drinks are everywhere and they’re inexpensive. It seems that America is hooked on liquid sugar and that’s one significant driving force in our obesity epidemic. Continue reading