Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cancer Report Yields Three Clear Prevention Guidelines

Cancer Report Yields Three Clear Prevention Guidelines

WASHINGTON, DC – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this month, the American Institute for Cancer Resear3 Reduce Cancer  Risk  Circlesch (AICR) published a definitive review of research on cancer prevention with ten evidence-based recommendations for reducing cancer risk. Now it is offering health-conscious people a free brochure on how to apply those recommendations to their own lives.

“Our just-published second expert report convinced the scientific community that there are things people can do to reduce their chances of developing cancer. Now, our new brochure, Guidelines for Cancer Prevention, explains the changes you can make in your daily life that will keep you healthy,” said Jeffrey R. Prince, AICR Vice President for Education.

Developed over five years and involving the work of nine teams of researchers, a panel of 21 experts and 82 peer reviewers, the expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, presented evidence from 7,000 studies and the experts’ assessment of the results of this research. It contains 517 pages of data analysis, graphs and tables with extensive footnotes. The new brochure provides the “Cliff Notes” for this mass of information.

The AICR report found convincing evidence that body fat is directly linked to six cancers including colorectal and post-menopausal breast cancer. Its first three recommendations advise people to stay lean and then suggest the means for stopping weight gain. For the first time, these recommendations are bolstered by strong evidence and scientific consensus.

Each Change has a Double Effect

For curtailing weight gain, which in turn will curtail cancer risk, the report advocates increased physical activity and a diet based on low-energy-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits and beans. In addition, it points out that increased physical activity reduces cancer risk directly by lowering hormone levels. A diet featuring plant foods also reduces risk directly by supplying plant compounds the body needs to prevent or repair cell damage. So, getting more active and eating wisely carries a double whammy when it comes to knocking out cancer.

The AICR report also raised hackles by consolidating the evidence showing that reducing consumption of alcohol and red meat—particularly processed meat—are important strategies for reducing cancer risk. Although the report does not recommend eliminating either completely, it does call for reducing the amounts Americans ordinarily consume.

“Applying these recommendations to our lives presents most of us with a challenge. They run counter to ingrained habits and the patterns of modern life. But convincing evidence shows that people who make the concerted effort to change the way they eat and live can reduce their chances of getting cancer as well as other chronic diseases,” Prince said.

Cancer Prevention Venn diagram

The 34-page brochure, Guidelines for Cancer Prevention, summarizes the message of AICR’s expert report in simple laymen’s language. It reduces the report’s ten recommendations to three guidelines—one concerning diet, another relating to physical activity and the third focusing on weight management. It then shows how the changes you make concerning these three related areas converge to foster a longer, healthier life.


The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $86 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.


Plants Rx 4 Health

Let's start by answering the question "what is a diet of plant based foods or whole food?" Plant-based foods, includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. Other words you are hearing related to nutrients rich diets and supplements are "whole food, whole food nutrition" these are all referring to plant based foods. Plants in addition to providing you with energy and essential micronutrients (vitamins, minerals), contribute thousands of biologically active phytochemicals. These plant chemicals are one of the elements that impact your health either by adding your healthy lifestyle or taking away from your healthy lifestyle.

To date there are over 4000 studies to support the health benefits of diets rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. Even with all this evidence it is unclear as to what specific nutrients directly benefit specific health issues. Scientists are very interested in the potential for specific phytochemicals to prevent or treat disease, however at this time the current scientific evidence suggests that FOODS are the MOST EFFECTIVE WAY to get vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidents.

The American Heart Association no longer recommends taking a supplement, the recommendation is to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Makes sense to me. Why take a vitamin C, E or A when you can get all this and more from a carrot? Studies suggest a fresh, clean whole apple provides 12,000 phytonutrients including all the vitamins and minerals that have been discovered and the others that have not. It is believed that it is the synergy of all that is present in the food that impacts the state of your health.

Despite all of the controversy surrounding the optimal components of a healthy diet, there is little disagreement among scientists regarding the importance of fruits and vegetables. Eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of the following diseases.

At first glance this may look like the diseases your grandmother is getting however, children are now at risk too.

* Cardiovascular Disease - Stoke, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure
* Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
* Cancer - particularly cancers of the digestive tract (oropharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum and lung)
* Osteoporosis

These are the diseases your grandmother maybe developing as they are Age Related Diseases:

* Cataracts
* Macular Degeneration
* Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
* Neurodegenerative Disease - Parkinson's, Alzheimers

The National Cancer Institute recommends a range of 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

The table below provides some examples of a single serving of fruits or vegetables.
Examples of One Serving of Fruits or Vegetable

* 1 medium sized apple or orange
* 1 small banana
* 1 cup of raw salad greens
* ½ cup of vegetables
* ½ cup of chopped fruit
* ½ cup of cooked peas or beans
* ¼ cup of dried fruit

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines (USDA) for Americans are similar with respect to fruit and vegetable intake recommendations, but they are tied to caloric intake rather than age and gender.

USDA Daily Recommendation for Fruit and Vegetable consumption:
ADULTS: 2 cups (4 servings) of fruit and 2½ cups (5 servings) of vegetables = 5 1/2 cups
CHILDREN: 1.5 cups of fruit and (3 servings) and 2 cups (4 servings) of vegetables = 3 1/2 cups

In both cases, consumption of a variety of different fruits and vegetables is recommended, including dark green, red, orange, yellow, blue and purple fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes (peas and beans), onions and garlic.

The evidence is clear the prescription for better health is to eat a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes every day.

Have you had your 5 1/2 cups of fruits and veggies today? whole grains? nuts?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Best Diet?

What's the best diet? Seems there is alot of discussion around this topic. Depending on who the "expert" is and "where" your information is coming will depend on the answer. It seems there are diets for every human condition, situation and let's not forget the latest "craze". With all the confusion over low fat, low carb, low glycemic index, low sugar, diabetic, anti-aging ect. Who's to know?

My advice is to go with the long standing experts, solid research, and longevity in performance. Following the craze will make you crazy, sickly or sick. The foods you eat are like medicine to your body. You are either getting more healthy with each passing day or less healthy. There really is no middle of the road even if you do not "feel" any different you are different. Heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes ect. do not happen over night.

Let's take a look at heart disease. Not you? Are you sure? 1.1 million of you have heart disease and it is #1 in the US. About 1 in 2. Of the 1 million of you , 1/2 will die from heart disease. Are you sure it is not you? Heart disease does not start with the first chest pain, it starts with the first french fry you had. Harmless? Think again. Get this, children as young as 3 years old show evidence of fatty deposits in their arteries. By age 12, 70% of children have the beginning stages of hardening of the arteries, humm heart disease. Dr. Oz (Oprah's doctor) said the youngest person he has met who had open heart surgery related to risk factors (high cholesterol, blood pressure and obesity) was 18 years old. Do you still like that commercial with the baby eating french fries?

It's not just heart disease either. Cancer, arthritis, macular degeneration, diabetes and every chronic disease does not just jump on you or your children. They are all an over time program in most cases a 10 year process. Some experts think your body makes cancer cells everyday and depending on the health of your DNA and immune system will determine how soon you are notified!

Best diet? I vote is for the make your life better, healthier, in for the long hall diet.

The American Cancer Society, American Diabetic Association, American Heart Association, USDA and many others recommend a diet packed full of fruits, ,vegetable legumes and whole grains. How about that? No magic, no combinations or formulas. Simple easy to follow, makes common sence diet.

In fact the USDA recommends fruits and veggies in a wide variety, colorful, fresh, raw when possible. Here is what you will find on (1/2 cup = 1 serving)

5 servings = Young Children (1 -3 years) Girls (4 - 8 years old)
6 servings = Boys (4 - 8 years)
7 servings = Girls (9 - 13 years) Women (51 years+ older)
8 servings = Boys ( 9 - 13 years) Girls (14 - 18 years) Women (31 - 50 years)
9 servings = Women (19 - 30 years) Men (51+ years)
10 servings = Boys (14 - 18 years) Men (19 - 50 years)
11 to 13 servings = Active Boys and Men

How are you doing?
How do you know what's the best foods to pick?
Eat original not artificial or processed. The more color the healthier. The fresher the better.

Here are some examples to get you started:
Sweet potato instead of white potato
Back grapes instead of white grapes
Dark bread instead of white bread
Brown rice instead of white rice
Brown pasta instead of white pasta
Dark leafy greens instead of iceberg lettuce

So the next time you go to pick up the latest diet book. Save your money. The best diet is the one you can follow for the rest of your life, mostly fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, little bit of dairy. Meat you ask? The American Heart Association said years ago think of your meat (chicken, fish) as a condiment to your meal, so just a little.

Maybe Mary Poppins was right "a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down". Do you think she was thinking about healthy foods too?