What we eat plays an important role in reducing our risk of developing cancer.
Or so concludes a new report from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research. The report summarized the findings of dozens of nutrition scientists from around the world, who reviewed thousands of studies published during the last 40 years. The new guidelines are more specific and less biased than the guidelines from the U.S. government, which are influenced by lobbyists from the food industry.
The new report recommends guidelines that for most Americans would be an "extreme makeover" of the dinner plate.
Among the new recommendations:
Eat mostly foods of plant origin. Eat at least 5 servings or 14 oz total of a variety of nonstarchy fruits and vegetables every day, as well as unprocessed breads, cereals, legumes or lentils with every meal. Refined, starchy foods such as white bread and pasta made with white flour should be limited.
Reduce sugary drinks and fast foods. These foods have far more calories than we need. With sweet drinks, our brains don't seem to register the calories, so we keep eating.
Red meat and processed meats "are convincing or probable causes" of cancer. Anyone who eats beef, pork, lamb or goat meat should limit it to not more than 18 oz. per week, which amounts to less than 3 oz. per day, a piece smaller than a deck of cards. Rarely or never eat processed meats such as sausage, bacon, and smoked or cured meats.
The report recommends keeping our weights at the low end of the normal range and exercising 30 to 60 minutes per day.
To see the entire report, go to www.dietandcancerreport.org.
Suzanne Havala Hobbs of UNC Department of Health Policy. "Foods you eat can contribute to risk of getting cancer." Charlotte Observer, page 2e. November 21, 2007.
Keywords:: cancer, vegetarian diet, red meat, diet and cancer, World Cancer Research Fund, UNC Department of Health Policy, American Institute for Cancer Research, low fat diet, plant based diet