New Diet Suggestions
One could spend a whole life reading about diet and cancer. The bottom line continues to be that there is not a diet (or a food or a supplement) that can either prevent cancer or reduce the risk of its recurrence. However, there is a lot of evidence that a plain old healthy diet with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is good for us in general and may help us stay healthy. Here is a summary of a new report from the American Institute for Cancer Research:
AICR Welcomes New Emphasis on Obesity Prevention, Plant-Based Diets
WASHINGTON, DC - Experts at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), the nation's leading cancer research organization focusing on the role of diet, weight and physical activity on cancer risk and survival, today welcomed the
.The Guidelines' emphasis on avoiding sugary drinks and highly processed, calorie-dense foods was particularly welcome, the AICR experts said, as these sources of empty calories have been linked to obesity, a cause of seven different cancers.
According to AICR, excess body fat has been convincingly linked. to cancers of the colorectum, esophagus, endometrium, kidney, pancreas and post-menopausal breast - and probably gallbladder as well.
In addition, the Dietary Guidelines emphasis on plant-based diets met with the cancer experts' enthusiastic approval. "For years, the science on cancer risk has shown that diets emphasizing a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans are cancer-protective," Higginbotham said. "A plant-based diet means moderating meat intake, not eliminating it altogether."
Much of the early news reports on the new Dietary Guidelines have focused on the recommendation to reduce sodium intake. "We agree that Americans are getting more salt than they need," said Higginbotham, "but one of the bonuses of eating a plant-based diet is getting more unprocessed foods and that means less sodium."
AICR estimates that over 1/3 of the most common cancers could be prevented if Americans ate healthy diets, increased their physical activity and stayed lean. "The Dietary Guidelines echo AICR's advice for lowering cancer risk," said Higginbotham. "We're thrilled to see obesity prevention, and thus cancer prevention, being placed front-and-center, where they belong."
Plant-Based, Plate-Based Messages Work, Says AICR
AICR advocates a plant-based diet in their education efforts, and has done so for over two decades. AICR's popular and award-winning New American Plate approach to planning healthy, cancer-protective meals shows how Americans can eat according to the Guidelines every day.
AICR Registered Dietitian Alice Bender said, "People have told us that thinking in terms of the plate is a simple, visual approach that helps them turn advice into action at every meal."
Americans can find simple tips, tools and recipes for bringing the new Guidelines home on the AICR website.
Experts Speaking With One Voice
"When the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released their report last June, we were gratified to see that that the evidence-based conclusions of our AICR/WCRF expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, were cited throughout," said Bender.
According to Bender, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines clearly demonstrate that the best advice for lowering cancer risk lines up with advice for preventing heart disease, obesity and many chronic diseases.
2010 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansThe Policy Perspective
Late in 2010, AICR published an executive summary of its policy report, which placed AICR/WCRF's cancer prevention recommendations in a US public health context.
"The main point that emerged from the AICR/WCRF policy report is that all members of society need to make changes, including the food industry, government, health professionals and individual Americans," said Higginbotham. "We believe the obesity crisis is too urgent, and the time for pointing fingers is over.
"What the Dietary Guidelines are saying is: We must all work to make it easier for Americans to make healthy choices. That's something we at AICR agree with. Because we're all in this together."