Thursday, October 16, 2008

Healthy Eating

This was a post I pulled from the Susan Komen website boards. It has some great information regarding anti-cancer fighting foods and eating healthy in general. Some of it we already know and have heard before, but some of it for me was new information. I thought I would post it on my blog this morning.

I recently had a great nutrition consult at a big medical center/cancer center with a dietician who has a special interest in breast cancer. Thought I would pass along some of her recommendations. A lot of it is common sense, but it always means more to me when an expert reminds me it could help prevent a recurrence! AIM FOR 7+ FRUITS/VEGGIES EACH DAY. Include at least one from each of these groups daily.Cruciferous veggies: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sproutsLycopene-rich produce: tomatoes, watermelonBeta-carotene rich: sweet ptotatoes, carrots, pumpkin, winter squashCITRUS: whole orange rather than juiceBERRIES: especially blueberriesDARK GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES: spinach, kale, collards, romaineRefer to dirty dozen list and try to buy those organic 3-6 SERVINGS WHOLE GRAINS DAILY:brown rice, whole wheat pasta, 100% whole wheat bread and bagels, quinoa, oatmeal, whole grain crackers, cereals. INCREASE FIBER:whole grains as above, plus beans daily. Bread should have at least 2 grams fiber/slice and cereal at least 4 grams/fiber. Fiber might help lower estrogen levels and is good source of vitamins and minerals that lower overall cancer risk. MINIMIZE ANIMAL PRODUCTS:Aim for plant based protein sources like beans. All meat should be organic and chicken is better than beef. Avoid cured or smoked foods containing nitrates/nitrites. Fish is good- esp. salmon, trout, mackeral, albacore tuna, and sardines. Eggs should be from free range, unmedicated chickens. MINIMIZE ALCOHOL:3/4 - 1 drink daily increases risk by 9%. 2 or more drinks daily increases risk up to 41%. If you do drink, make sure you get at least 300 micrograms of folate daily which will decrease risk somewhat. Folate rich foods include spinach, orange juice, fortified cereals, beans. CHOOSE HEALTHIER FATS:Avoid trans fats - hard stick margarine, Crisco, fried chips, french fries, store bought baked goods. Reduce saturated fats: cheese, butter, ice cream, processed foods. Use monounsaturated oils: EVOO, canola oil, olive and canola based cooking sprays. Nuts, esp. walnuts and almonds are a good source of plant protein, fiber, and healthy fats- but watch portion size as they are caloric. Almond butter is great. MINIMIZE DAIRY:There is some evidence that the insulin growth factor present in dairy (not added, it comes straight from the cow) can contribute to hormonal cancers like breast and prostate. She likes rice, oat, and hemp milk (???). Cheese is the worst dairy as it is so high in fat and has a higher concentration of IGF. In moderation, organic low fat dairy is ok - esp. yogurt. Hard to get enough calcium though without dairy. Definitely splurge on organic for dairy though to avoid the hormones they give cows to increase milk production. DRINK 4 cups of green tea daily. High in EGCG which in the lab has been shown to inhibit breast cancer growth. EAT 1-2 cloves garlic daily if tolerated. Contains diallyl sulfide, a tumor suppressor. INCREASE WATER INTAKE: At least 48oz. daily. Invest in fliter that removes lead, flouride, chlorine. Other tips- whole fruit always better than juice. If need juice, best is pomegranate, tart cherry. Vitamin D is rally important- get about 15 minutes of early morning or late day sun with no sunscreen and gets levels checked regularly. Supplement if low. Super foods:beans, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, salmon, EVOO, almonds, walnuts, avocado, blueberries, oatmeal. I'll update as I remember more- I still have tons<


debbie said...

hi gail, thanks for the update on the foods. like you said I have hear and kinda knew most of that but its nice to know the stats behind it, but I have started drinking green tea now more since your you

The Barnes Crew said...

I'm a firm believer that if you change your diet great things can happen. My sister-in-law (a breast cancer survivor - 6yrs) found a lump in January, she went in had it removed, it was malignant, and they also found a hot spot in one of her lymph nodes which meant it had spread...her cancer is back and they were saying that it was stage 4. Since then she RADICALY changed her diet and her most recent tests came back CLEAR...absolutely NOTHING...all gone!! So, again, I'm a believer that a diet change helps!