The Journal of the American College of Nutrition will release next week six dietary guidelines recommending foods that have been shown to prevent cancer. The findings emphasize a heavily plant-based diet to avoid carcinogenic (cancer producing) substances and help maintain a healthy weight. To the team at Tried and True Nutrition, this is like hitting the lottery. This further validates what we strongly believe in and reinforces that we are providing our clients with the most up to date and current nutrition data out there. And, it's all fairly simple advice that can hopefully put a stop to some nutrition myths out there.
The six dietary recommendations to help prevent cancer are:
1. Limit or avoid dairy products to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Drinking two glasses of milk each day increases risk of prostate cancer by 60 percent. Consuming 35 grams of dairy protein each day increases risk of prostate cancer by 32 percent. For a reference, 35 grams of dairy protein is about a cup of cottage cheese.
2. Limit or avoid alcohol to reduce the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, and breast.
One drink per week increases risk of mouth, pharynx, and larynx cancers by 24 percent. Two to three drinks per day increase risk of colon cancer by 21 percent. I think we all know alcohol isn’t good for us but to see these numbers, we are forced to really think about it.
3. Avoid red and processed meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon and rectum.
New research suggests that high levels of red and processed meat consumption can be particularly dangerous for colon cancer risk. Meatless Mondays anyone?
4. Avoid grilled, fried, and broiled meats to reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, prostate, kidney and pancreas.
Higher meat-cooking times and temperatures can alter DNA synthesis during digestion which is linked to causing the above cancers.
5. Consume soy to reduce risk of breast cancer and to reduce the risk of recurrence and mortality for women previously treated for breast cancer.
Now this one is huge and I’m hoping all of you read this and pass on the information and ask us questions if there are any. These new findings contradict a common preconception that soy products increase risk of breast cancer. The source of the soy should be natural, as in edamame, tempeh, or organic tofu rather than the soy protein concentrates often found in supplements but are considered safe.
6. Emphasize fruits and vegetables to reduce risk of several common forms of cancer.
As we always say, fruits and vegetables are essential to overall health. Dark, leafy greens were especially shown to drastically reduce overall cancer risk. Specifically, cruciferous veggies like broccoli and kale help lower risk for colorectal, lung and stomach cancers, while vegetables rich in carotenoids, like carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash, lower breast cancer risk.
So what does this mean to you? It means take a minute to consider making some changes to your diet. The changes can mean drinking less dairy and switching to a plant based milk like almond or soy or rice. The changes can mean eating more meatless meals. The changes can be minor or can be more drastic. What I like about these guidelines is that its simple and concrete. We know what we can do to help prevent these cancers so pass on the information!