I promise that I will get to Part II in the Healthy Cookware: What Kind Should You Use? in the next article. But first, I want to highlight the information that I will be sharing tomorrow at my talk for the Colon Cancer Alliance National Conference in Baltimore.
I am honored to be able to share a brief update with the attendees on colon cancer survivorship and the latest in prevention. When I say ‘brief’, I mean BRIEF! I’ll be doing my update in 20 minutes. Typically I spend an hour when I speak to groups so I really had to get my stuff in order to pare it down. The good news is that 20 minutes is just the right amount of time to peak your interest without boring you!
I figured that my readers would be interested in this information too. It’s really important stuff, as colon cancer is the #1 most preventable cancer. With good screening tests, a healthy diet, and exercise risk can be significantly reduced.
Of course, there are never guarantees. Many survivors at this conference have quite the story of unlikely diagnosis and beating the odds. However we can all agree that when you have the tools, you might as well use them to give yourself the best chance.
Without typing out my entire 20 minute spiel, here are the key messages that I will share:
Colon Cancer and Nutrition Update
According to the Second Expert Report on Food Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer of the Colon and Rectum (by my favorite group, the American Institute for Cancer Research), the following have CONVINCING evidence that they increase risk for colon cancer:
- Red meat (beef, pork, lamb and goat)
- Processed meat (preserved by smoking, curing, salting or chemical preservatives) – Examples include bacon, ham, salami, packaged lunch meats, sausage and hot dogs
- Alcoholic drinks for men (probable evidence for women)
- Body fatness, especially abdominal fatness
The following have CONVINCING evidence that they decrease risk for colon cancer:
- Foods containing dietary fiber. This was an upgrade from probably in the most recent review in 2011.
The following have PROBABLE evidence that they decrease risk for colon cancer:
- Calcium (at least 1200mg/day)
Nutrition for Survivors:
From the same group, AICR, comes the recommendations for survivors. Conveniently, they state that “After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention“. So here they are!
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
- Avoid sugary drinks and limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fiber, or high in fat)
- Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. ***In Julie’s opinion, this is the most important!!***
- Limit consumption of red meats and avoid processed meats.
- If consumed at all, limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
- Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium)
- Do not use supplements to protect against cancer.
Cancer Fighting Foods
People always love it when I share my list of ‘Cancer Fighting Foods’ with them. So here you go! This is the list of the 11 most researched foods when it comes to nutrition and cancer. Want more info and recipes on each? Search through this site, I’ve covered each one at least once!
- Beans (Legumes)
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
- Grapes and Grape Juice
- Green Tea
- Whole Grains
Remember that even small lifestyle changes over time can produce large health benefits. Eating one or twon more vegetables and fruits a day, switching from white to whole-grain bread and increasing the length of your daily walk will all make a positive impact on your health!
Keep it simple and fill 1/2 your plate with fruits and veggies, 1/4 with whole grain and 1/4 with protein (bonus points if you choose a plant source for protein).
And remember… as Mom always says…
With any luck from my personal assistant (husband!), I should have a photo or two and maybe video to share from the event.