Nutrition experts from the Food and Nutrition Science Alliance (FANSA) have stated "poor diet and lack of exercise are related to just as many cancer cases as smoking". Since nutritionists agree that eating right, exercise and weight control can reduce cancer risk by 30-40 percent, take control using the tips below. Cancer survivors may also benefit from the following plan to reduce risk of recurrence.
Cancer-Fighting Eating Plan
• Eat a plant-based diet centered on whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
• Eat 3 ounces of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, or sardines, twice a week.
• Eat 4 servings (1/2 cup) of legumes (dried beans & peas) a week.
• Eat 7 servings of whole grains daily. Try new grains such as quinoa, pearled barley, bulgur wheat and whole-wheat couscous.
• Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Choose a variety of dark colored produce - orange, red, green. Adhering to this simple dietary change alone could decrease cancer by 20 percent. Be sure to include cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, to reduce breast cancer risk, and tomato products, such as tomato sauce and juice, to lower prostate cancer risk.
• Increase dietary fiber to 25-30 grams per day. This means doubling fiber intake for the average American.
• Snack on nuts but limit portion size to 1/3 cup per day.
• Eat one serving of soy foods daily. One serving = 1/2 cup tofu, 1 cup soy milk, ¼ cup soy nuts, or ½ cup edamame. Note: Mark Messina’s review of literature in the November 2001 Journal of Nutrition Supplement recommends that breast cancer patients do not have to limit soy in their diets.
• Flavor meals with phytochemical-rich herbs and spices such as oregano, rosemary, garlic, tumeric, etc.
• Sip on 3-5 cups of green tea daily. Black tea is healthy too.
• Avoid charred and burned foods. Marinate meat prior to grilling and precook in the microwave to reduce carcinogens.
• Limit cured meats like hot dogs, sausage, and bacon.
• Limit alcohol to less than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women. Breast cancer survivors should limit intake to fewer than two drinks per week, if at all.
• Reduce total dietary fat by limiting animal fats (both milk and meat) and opt for healthier monounsaturated fat (olive oil, canola oil, and avocados) and omega-3 fats (salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts). Avoid polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as corn oil and "hydrogenated" vegetable oils.
Stay physically active. Regular exercise not only helps to maintain a healthy body weight but also reduces the risk of certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer. Exercise gives the immune system a boost!
Sandy Sotnick, MS,RD.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.