A Heavier Plate for Cancer Prevention?

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Of the days’ worth of food below, which do you think would be more filling?

The food on the right is certainly more colorful and offers a lot more to eat than the few choices on the left.

A new AICR review of the research on calorie (or energy) density and weight loss has found that diets low in calorie density can play an important role in efforts to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The photo above is a great example of how calorie density works. Both 1575 calories, the food on the right contains more low calorie-dense foods – fewer calories, but more food weight.

Low calorie dense foods, such as fruits and non-starchy vegetables have a lot of water, so by filling up on these, you satisfy your hunger, but eat fewer calories.

Read more about how to make your plate heavier, but with fewer calories.

The AICR brochure More Food, Fewer Calories contains strategies on following a low-calorie dense diet along with more information on the health benefits.

After you’ve tried some of these ideas, share your successes with us.

Photos: Dr. Barbara Rolls, Penn State University, used with permission.

Are Oats Really Heart Healthy?

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According to a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health claims on food labels may not tell the whole story.

The Food and Drug Administration currently establishes what health claims can appear on food labels.  The IOM* says the FDA should have more rigorous evaluation of  claims that we see whenever we shop for food.

That includes, for example, claims on breakfast or high protein bars that connect soy protein to lower risk of heart disease.  They make this claim because soy protein has been shown to lower cholesterol levels.

But, the IOM says that by just measuring cholesterol levels and not looking at whether it actually prevents heart disease is misleading to consumers.

According to the IOM, the FDA should “apply the same rigor to evaluating the science behind claims of foods’ and nutritional supplements’ health benefits as it devotes to assessing medication and medical technology approvals.”

The FDA will need more authority from Congress and more resources to do this.

What do you think – would more rigorous evaluation make you take those label claims more seriously?  Do you purchase foods now because they make those claims?

*The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. The Institute of Medicine serves as adviser to the nation to improve health.

AICR-Funded Ovarian Cancer Study Making News

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An intriguing AICR-funded study on flaxseed and ovarian cancer is making news today. The study investigated how a flaxseed-enriched diet would effect ovarian cancer development in hens. Although the study was conducted in animals, it will hopefully lead to research that will help ovarian cancer survivors.

Why hens? Hens are the only other animals besides humans known to spontaneously develop ovarian cancer, and at a relatively high rate. That makes hens a strong model to study ovarian cancer, a disease dubbed “the silent killer” because it is often not detected until the later stages.

You can read a news report about the study here.

You can also read an earlier report on the study and the lead scientist Dale Hales, PhD. , which we wrote about in Cancer Research Update.