Chef Richard is The Cancer Fighting Chef
Food and cancer: 8 truths to help lower risk PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 21 September 2014 02:39

When it comes to foods and eating habits that help prevent cancer, there’s a lot of misinformation floating around. salad

"Unfortunately, these rumors have led to many common myths about the foods you should and shouldn’t eat to promote good health," says Mary Ellen Phipps, wellness dietitian at MD Anderson.

So, we asked Phipps and other MD Anderson nutrition experts to bust the most common food and diet myths to help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent diseases like cancer.

Here are their top eight food myths.



Food myth #1: Eating fat makes you fat.

Truth: While fat contains about twice as many calories as carbohydrates or protein, it helps you feel full longer, which can reduce snacking.  “Fat is also required for absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, which help keep you healthy,” says Stephanie Maxson, senior clinical dietician in MD Anderson's Integrative Medicine Center. Maxson recommends eating fats from plant foods like avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds most often. “Just remember,” Maxson warns, “calories, whether from carbohydrates, proteins or fats, that are not burned will be stored as body fat.”

Food myth #2: Frozen produce isn’t as healthy as fresh produce.

Truth: “In some cases, frozen produce may actually be more nutritious than fresh produce,” Phipps says. Frozen produce is chilled within a few hours of being picked, which locks in nutrients at the height of ripeness. “Produce begins to lose nutrients soon after it’s picked, making frozen produce a great option at certain times of the year,” Phipps explains. Another nutrient-rich option is local, in-season produce.

Food myth #3: Juice cleanses or detoxes are good for you.juice

Truth: “Your body naturally cleanses or removes harmful toxins that could put your health at risk,” Phipps says. “Drinking only fruit and vegetable juices can cause headaches, low energy, and nausea and it can be dangerous if continued for too long.” Plus, removing just the juice from whole fruits and vegetables strips out valuable nutrients, like fiber. And fiber is what makes a plant-based diet good for lowering your risk of several types of cancer.

Food myth #4: Eating only “superfoods” prevents cancer.

Truth: While eating a healthful diet may help to reduce your cancer risk, loading up on just one or two “superfoods” isn’t going to protect you from the disease. “These foods are great additions to your diet,” Phipps says. “But a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (like beans or lentils) is what supports good health.”

Food myth #5: Eggs are an unhealthy choice.

Truth: Eggs have gotten a bad rap for far too long. “While they’re relatively high in cholesterol, cholesterol in food has little influence on the cholesterol in your blood,” Maxson says. And, cholesterol in your blood is what leads to health problems. On the flip side, eggs actually have health benefits. “They’re a great source of choline, which can be good for memory and brain function, and omega-3 fats, which can help to reduce chronic inflammation,” Maxson says.

Food myth #6: Eating late at night causes weight gain.

Truth: Time of day has little to do with your weight. “Whether you eat your largest meal at midday or late in the evening, what you eat, the calories you consume and your activity level are more important than the time of day you’re eating,” says Katie Bispeck, research dietitian in Behavioral Science at MD Anderson.

Food myth #7: If you exercise, you can eat whatever you want.

Truth: Exercise alone won’t fend off weight gain that could increase your chances for developing cancer. “Exercise can help you to maintain a balance between the calories you eat and the calories you burn, so you still need to eat a balanced diet,” Phipps says. “The combination helps you maintain a healthy weight so you can reduce your chances for certain cancers.”

Food myth #8: Steer clear of carbs. whole grains

Truth: To stay healthy, your body needs foods that provide energy. “This includes carbohydrates,” Maxson says. But you need to choose your carbs wisely – some types are healthier than others. “Eat carbs from whole grain sources, like brown rice, oats or whole wheat bread, or starchy vegetables, like sweet potatoes, fresh corn or peas,” Maxson advises. Limit foods with refined carbohydrates like white bread and sweets. “Just remember: it is recommended that carbohydrate food sources take up no more than one-quarter of your plate,” Maxson says.

Now that you’re armed with food truths, learn to stick to a balanced diet. You can start by following these guidelines to help you reduce your cancer risk.

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 September 2014 02:42
Can Fried Foods Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sofia Layarda   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 18:12


Can Fried Foods Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

Written By Sofia Layarda, MPH

When you go to a drive-through or eat out at a fast food joint, what do you get? The typical fried items on a fast food menu are fries, doughnuts, or chicken strips. Variations exist, but certainly the prevailing generalization is that these items are deep-fried.
It's not surprising that frequent consumption of deep-fried foods can seriously impact your weight in addition to having an undesirable effect on your cardiovascular health. A high-fat dietary pattern has also been linked to increased risk of several types of cancers.
Deep-Fried Foods May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Now researchers at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have also linked regular consumption of deep-fried foods to an increased risk of prostate cancer, specifically a more aggressive form of the cancer. They looked at men who ate deep-fried foods regularly. Specifically, the items were French fries, fried chicken, fried fish, doughnuts, and snack chips. Those who ate one or more servings of fries, fried chicken, or doughnuts per week had a 30% to 37% higher risk of prostate cancer than those who ate less than one serving per week.
We have previously discussed the link between grilling meats and formation of potential carcinogens. This study is different in that it examines the link between deep-fried foods and carcinogens. While the study did not specifically investigate why there is a link between deep-fried foods and increased prostate cancer risk, the researchers suggest one of the factors could be carcinogens in the oil or fat used for frying. When oil is heated to the high temperatures used in frying, some compounds that can be potential carcinogens are also formed. For example, acrylamides are formed when high-carbohydrate, low-protein foods are subjected to very high temperatures, as in the making of potato chips or French fries.
This gets worse when the oil is reheated, which is exactly what happens in a fast food or restaurant setting – the oil will be reused  for frying several batches before being replaced.

Fried Foods: The Obvious and Not So Obvious
Mention deep-fried foods and what comes to mind? The obvious ones are steaming hot and instantly grease up your fingers:
chicken nuggets or chicken strips, or fried chicken (such as KFC)
fish 'n chips
hash browns or other kinds of potato patties
any dough that gets deep-fried: doughnuts, beignets, fritters, beavertails, churros
The following common snack foods are also deep-fried (even though they come out of a bag):
potato chips
tortilla chips
taco shells
Consider these other examples of convenience/frozen food items that are typically pre-fried and then reheated or cooked at home:
instant noodles
frozen fries (including those that require baking to serve)
frozen seasoned pre-cooked chicken wings, nuggets, or ribs
other frozen appetizers like spring rolls and wontons
In addition, these popular ethnic restaurant items are commonly deep-fried:
At Chinese restaurants: Sweet-and-sour dishes, lemon chicken, sesame chicken
At Japanese restaurants: Tempura dishes
At Greek restaurants: Calamari
At South Asian or Middle Eastern restaurants: Pakoras or samosas
The Bottom Line

We know on occasion people will eat fried foods. However, it may be worth taking a look at how you define "moderation" when it comes todeep-fried foods. One serving of any of the above food examples once a week is not a very high threshold.
With many deep-fried foods, you are also getting too much of the undesirable type of fat, refined carbohydrates, sodium, and other additives such as preservatives, flavoring, or coloring. While this study looked specifically at men who consume deep-fried foods, the rest of us would still benefit from cutting down on deep-fried foods.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 March 2013 18:20
Report to the Nation shows U.S. cancer death rates continue to drop PDF Print E-mail
Written by NCI   
Monday, 18 March 2013 16:48

Report to the Nation shows U.S. cancer death rates continue to drop; Special feature highlights trends in HPV-associated cancers and HPV vaccination coverage levels

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2009, shows that overall cancer death rates continued to decline in the United States among both men and women, among all major racial and ethnic groups, and for all of the most common cancer sites, including lung, colon and rectum, female breast, and prostate. However, the report also shows that death rates continued to increase during the latest time period (2000 through 2009) for melanoma of the skin (among men only) and for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and uterus. The special feature section on human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers shows that incidence rates are increasing for HPV-associated oropharyngeal and anal cancers and that vaccination coverage levels in the U.S. during 2008 and 2010 remained low among adolescent girls.

The report, produced since 1998, is co-authored by researchers from the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). It appears early online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and will be published in print issue 3, volume 105.
The decline in overall cancer death rates continues a trend that began in the early 1990s.  From 2000 through 2009, cancer death rates decreased by 1.8 percent per year among men and by 1.4 percent per year among women. Death rates among children up to 14 years of age also continued to decrease by 1.8 percent per year. During 2000 through 2009, death rates among men decreased for 10 of the 17 most common cancers (lung, prostate, colon and rectum, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney, stomach, myeloma, oral cavity and pharynx, and larynx) and increased for melanoma of the skin and cancers of the pancreas and liver. During the same 10-year period, death rates among women decreased for 15 of the 18 most common cancers (lung, breast, colon and rectum, ovary, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, brain and other nervous system, myeloma, kidney, stomach, cervix, bladder, esophagus, oral cavity and pharynx, and gallbladder) and increased for cancers of the pancreas, liver, and uterus.
“The continuing drop in cancer mortality over the past two decades is reason to cheer,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “The challenge we now face is how to continue those gains in the face of new obstacles, like obesity and HPV infections. We must face these hurdles head on, without distraction, and without delay, by expanding access to proven strategies to prevent and control cancer.”
Between 2000 and 2009, overall cancer incidence rates decreased by 0.6 percent per year among men, were stable among women, and increased by 0.6 percent per year among children (ages 0 to 14 years). During that time period, incidence rates among men decreased for five of the 17 most common cancers (prostate, lung, colon and rectum, stomach, and larynx) and increased for six others (kidney, pancreas, liver, thyroid, melanoma of the skin, and myeloma). Among women, incidence rates decreased for seven of the 18 most common cancers (lung, colon and rectum, bladder, cervix, oral cavity and pharynx, ovary, and stomach), and increased for seven others (thyroid, melanoma of the skin, kidney, pancreas, leukemia, liver, and uterus). Incidence rates were stable for the other top 17 cancers, including breast cancer in women and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men and women.
“While this report shows that we are making progress in the fight against cancer on some fronts, we still have much work to do, particularly when it comes to preventing cancer,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D. “For example, vaccinating against HPV can prevent cervical cancer, but, tragically, far too many girls are growing into adulthood vulnerable to cervical cancer because they are not vaccinated.”

Percent of adolescent girls who received 3 doses of HPV vaccine
The special feature section of the report includes an evaluation of the burden and trends in HPV-associated cancers as well as HPV vaccination coverage levels among adolescent girls. The report shows that from 2000 through 2009, incidence rates for HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer increased among white men and women, as did rates for anal cancer among white and black men and women. Incidence rates for cancer of the vulva increased among white and black women. Rates of cervical cancer declined among all women except American Indian/Alaska Natives. In addition, cervical cancer incidence rates were higher among women living in low versus high socioeconomic areas. Among men, rates for penile cancer were stable.
“This year’s Report correctly and usefully emphasizes the importance of HPV infection as a cause of the growing number of cancers of the mouth and throat, the anus, and the vulva, as well as cancers of the uterine cervix, and the availability of vaccines against the major cancer-causing strains of HPV” said NCI Director Harold Varmus, M.D. “But the investments we have made in HPV research to establish these relationships and to develop effective and safe vaccines against HPV will have the expected payoffs only if vaccination rates for girls and boys improve markedly.”
The report also showed that in 2010, fewer than half (48.7 percent) of girls ages 13 through 17 had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine, and only 32 percent had received all three recommended doses. Vaccination series completion rates were generally lower among certain sub-populations, including girls living in the South, those living below the poverty level, and among Hispanics. The national three-dose coverage estimate among girls ages 13 through17 in 2010 falls well short of the U.S. Government’s Healthy People 2020 target of 80 percent for three-dose coverage among girls ages 13 through15, and is much lower than vaccination rates  reported in Canada (50-85 percent) and the United Kingdom and Australia combined (greater than 70 percent). The authors note that low overall vaccine uptake in the U.S. is likely due to a number of issues, including inadequate provider recommendations, provider reimbursement concerns, infrequent use of reminder/recall systems that would foster completion of the three-dose series, and other factors.
“As incidence rates for some HPV-associated cancers continue to rise,” noted NAACCR director Betsy Kohler, “these cases will contribute to the overall growing number of cancers associated with population aging and expansion, requiring additional resources for medical research and treatment, in addition to our careful tracking of these trends.”

After breast cancer, high-fat dairy foods raise risk of death PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Begley   
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 14:23

After breast cancer, high-fat dairy foods raise risk of death

March 14, 2013

By Sharon Begley

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Women who have ever had breast cancer might want to walk away from the brie, the butter and the black cherry (and every other flavor) ice cream.

According to a study of 1,893 women, breast cancer survivors who average as little as one serving per day of high-fat dairy foods have a 49 percent higher risk of dying from breast cancer than those who eat little or no high-fat dairy.

Electron Micrograph of a single breast cancer cellIn absolute terms, breast cancer survivors who consumed the most high-fat dairy had about a 12 percent risk of dying of the disease.

The elevated mortality risk is therefore "modest," said lead author Candyce Kroenke, a staff scientist at Kaiser Permanente, the nonprofit healthcare provider. "But since it may not be so difficult to lower your consumption of high-fat dairy, I think if you have breast cancer it's worthwhile."

The research, published on Thursday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is notable because more than a dozen studies since the late 1980s have examined whether consuming milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products is related to breast cancer. The results have been a confusing muddle: Some studies found that women who eat a lot of dairy have a higher risk of breast cancer, others found they have a lower risk and still others found no effect either way.

The Kaiser study is the first to separate out the effects of high- and low-fat dairy on women diagnosed with breast cancer.

The hormone connection might apply beyond breast cancer. A 2012 study found that drinking more whole milk was associated with worse survival among men with prostate cancer, while skim milk was associated with higher survival.

"This is a very well-done study by highly regarded researchers," said Dr. Michelle Holmes, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved in the research. It advances scientists' understanding of how diet affects breast cancer, she said, and presents women with a simple dietary choice: "It's for each woman to decide, but if you don't eat high-fat dairy you can get the same nutrients from other sources," including low-fat versions.

Electron Micrograph of a Single Breast Cancer Cell

Total dairy intake had no effect on how the women - who had been diagnosed with stage 1, 2 or 3A invasive breast cancer and most of whom were post-menopausal - fared over the 11.8 years, on average, that the researchers tracked them.

But high-fat dairy, which means whole milk or cream and anything made with them such as cheese and ice cream, did make a difference.

Breast cancer survivors who ate one or more servings per day (according to a 120-item questionnaire they answered) also had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from all causes, but that was expected: A high-fat diet has long been associated with cardiovascular disease, among other illnesses.

The cancer risk was more surprising, if only because scientists have speculated that the vitamin D and calcium in milk might protect against cancer.

Instead, the estrogens in milk might be the problem, researchers say. These hormones, which promote some breast cancers, reside in milk fat. Less milk fat means less estrogens, so the estrogen content of skim, 1 percent and 2 percent milk and products made from them is relatively low.

Another reason to suspect estrogens rather than fat itself was that eating more saturated fat of all kinds did not raise the women's chances of dying of breast cancer as strongly as high-fat dairy did. That suggests that fat consumption per se is unrelated to breast-cancer mortality: nuts, chocolate, coconut and vegetable fats such as those in avocados did not increase the r

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 15:06
Beans: Nutrition Powerhouses on Your Plate PDF Print E-mail
Written by AICR   
Monday, 11 March 2013 14:42

Worth a Hill of Beans: Nutrition Powerhouses on Your Plate

 varities of beansIf you want to add color, flavor and nutrition to your meals, and not empty your wallet – read on. We spill the beans on an inexpensive, cancer-protective, global dietary staple much underused in the United States.

If you're like many Americans, you likely only eat beans in chili, as baked beans or in "Tex-Mex" dishes such as burritos or enchiladas. But go beyond those dishes and you can find dozens of dry bean varieties that add color, nutrition and great flavor to every course in your meal.

Cooking with Beans: Convenient and Cost Effective

Dry beans are one of the most economical sources of protein, whether you purchase canned or uncooked. Canned beans are great to have on hand. Add chickpeas to a fresh garden salad or stir-fry black beans with colorful vegetables and brown rice for a quick meal. One serving of canned beans costs a mere 25 cents. Buy them in bags, cook them yourself and you'll pay about one-half the price.

Bean Facts

Americans eat, on average, 7.5 lbs (45 cups cooked) of dry beans each year. Pinto beans are the most popular at 3.29 lbs., followed by navy, black, garbanzo (chickpea), great northern and kidney beans. Garbanzos – used in hummus and other Middle Eastern and Indian dishes – are the fastest growing in popularity in the United States.

Cooking dry beans:

  1. Clean. Place in pie plate and remove any leaves, small stones or damaged beans. Then rinse the beans under cold running water.
  2. Soak. Cover beans with water. Then soak using one of these methods:
    • Quick method: Bring to a boil for two minutes, then turn off heat, cover pot and soak for at least one hour before cooking.
    • Cold soak: Let soak overnight (8-12 hours).
  3. Cook. After soaking, drain and discard water. Add fresh water and cook on the stove for 1-2 hours or until soft. You can also cook in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours. For fastest cooking, a pressure cooker can do the job in 15-30 minutes.

If you plan to add foods high in acid like lemon juice, vinegar or tomatoes or tomato products, wait until after beans are cooked. These high acid foods can prevent beans from becoming tender during cooking. You can add herbs and spices or onion any time while beans are cooking.

Leaf detail

AICR's expert report and continuous updates
have found that foods containing dietary fiber
lower risk for colorectal cancer.

The Musical Fruit

Beans contain carbohydrates that we're unable to break down during digestion. However, microbes in the colon break down these complex sugars and produce gas in the process. While this well-known gas producing effect keeps some people from eating beans, you can lessen the effect. Proper soaking, discarding and replacing the water, cooking at low heat for longer times and draining off the cooking water will remove much of the indigestible carbohydrate.

Just as with increasing any high fiber food, it may help to add beans to your diet gradually, and you'll probably find that some beans don't affect you as much as others.

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