AICR Fact Check: Fiber and Cancer?

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Heard a great story about fiber on NPR this morning, all about how food manufacturers add fiber to things like sugary cereals and white bread so they can make claims about fiber and health on the packaging.

We’re pleased that the story makes the point that foods that are naturally high in fiber — vegetables and fruits, whole grains and beans — are better options, but then we heard something that brought us up short:

So are these fiber-fortified foods actually making you healthier? This question turns out to be one of those places where scientists know a lot less than you may think they do. For example, a lot of people think that fiber will help protect you against colon cancer. But so far, that link is not conclusive.

In this case, it’s “a lot of people” who are right, and NPR who’s … well, not wrong, exactly, but imprecise.

Because the evidence that diets high in fiber can and do protect against colorectal cancer is not only strong, it’s just gotten stronger. And with February being Cancer Prevention Month, it’s a good opportunity to remind people of the hard science showing that they can protect themselves from colorectal cancer.  Read more… “AICR Fact Check: Fiber and Cancer?”

Managing Diabetes, Preventing Cancer

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Type 2 diabetes has been in the news a lot this week with Paula Deen’s announcement that she has the disease. She joins 25.8 million Americans who have type 2 diabetes, a number that has been growing along with the number of overweight and obese Americans.

If you have type 2 diabetes you know that you can manage it with diet, exercise, weight management and medications to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. That’s important to lower risk of complications including cardiovascular disease.

It’s an important part of lowering your risk for cancer, too, because changes that occur in the body due to diabetes and high blood sugar can also promote cancer development. Research shows a connection between type 2 diabetes and risk of several cancers, including colon, endometrium and postmenopausal breast.

The good news is you can take action to lower risk for both diabetes complications and cancer.

Read more… “Managing Diabetes, Preventing Cancer”

Fill Up on Fiber: Vegetable Stew

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Adding fiber-rich foods to your diet is a good way to help meet your weight-loss goals and add cancer protection to your plate. This week’s Health-e-Recipe for Vegetable Stew combines a medley of hearty vegetables with brown rice in a delicious one-pot stew.

Carrots and zucchini, sautéed together with tomatoes provide vitamins A, C and K and are rich in carotenoids that may help lower risk for cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and lung. Foods containing the compound beta-carotene (like carrots) may also help protect against esophageal cancer. Research has also found that lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, could provide protection against prostate cancer.

AICR/WCRF’s latest Continuous Update Report concluded that there was convincing evidence that dietary fiber protects against colorectal cancer. Emerging research also suggests a possible link between fiber and breast cancer prevention.

Read more… “Fill Up on Fiber: Vegetable Stew”