Hot Tomatoes

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This week’s AICR Health-e-Recipe,  Tomato Tartlets, requires a bit more prep time than our usual recipes, but we think these savory treats are worth it.

Did you know that heating and processing tFD002080_47omatoes makes it easier for your body to absorb their lycopene – a phytochemical that has been found to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells?

It’s possible to get health protection from eating plenty of processed tomato products (sauce, juice, etc.). Just pick the reduced-sodium versions and combine them with other vegetables – broccoli, onions, garlic and peppers, for instance – to get the biggest health boost.

FYI, lycopene is what makes tomatoes, watermelon and red grapefruit red.

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“Let’s Move” Initiative Will Lower Cancer Rates

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Family Eating An Al Fresco MealMichelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to eliminate childhood obesity in a generation could have a major impact on cancer rates when today’s children become adults.

AICR estimates that approximately 100,000 cancers occurring in the US every year are caused by excess body fat.  Add physical activity and a healthy diet to weight management, and we could prevent about one-third of the most common cancers.  And what better prevention strategy than helping children adopt healthier behaviors?

The campaign focuses on four factors: Healthy Choices, Healthier Schools, Physical Activity and Accessible and Affordable Healthy Food.  This combination of policy changes, health professional action and family involvement envisioned by the First Lady is an important step toward helping children live healthier lifestyles.  And healthier lives will lead to fewer children becoming obese and remaining obese as adults.

AICR’s major report, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention addresses many of these same issues  as to how policy changes can influence the behaviors that affect cancer risk and other chronic disease.

What do you see happening in your community to help children lead healthier lifestyles?

Making the Most of Cheese

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Cheese lovers may feel they have to cut out cheese altogether to follow a healthy, cancer-fighting diet. But AICR  doesn’t advise cutting any favorite food out entirely.

This week’s Health-e-Recipe, Fennel and Red Grapefruit Salad with Asiago Cheese, shows how a little cheese can go a long way. Hard cheeses like Parmesan, Romano and Asiago have a strong taste, so grated or shredded, it doesn’t take much to flavor healthy vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Two soft cheeses – goat, which is spreadable, and crumbly feta – also give you a lot of taste in small amounts. Enjoy an ounce (4 dice) of regular softer checheeseeses in low-fat versions to help limit calories and fat. Use a cheese plane – a flat metal spatula with a slit at the base that slides over cheese to cut thinner slices than a knife.

If you avoid automatically piling cheese on sandwiches, pizza and other dishes and savor a little at a time instead, cheese can fit into a healthy diet. Click here to get a healthy recipe each week from AICR’s Test Kitchen.