CANCER PREVENTION NUTRITION TIPS AND CANCER-FIGHTING FOODS (From www.helpguide.org)
Focus on Plant-based foods: the best diet for preventing or fighting cancer is a predominantly plant-based diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Focus on adding “whole foods”, which are foods close to their original form, minimizing the amount of processed foods eaten.
- Plants have less fat, more fiber, and more cancer-fighting nutrients.
- Buy organic or local produce, if possible, to reduce exposure to pesticides and suspected carcinogens.
Bulk up on Fiber: it helps keep food moving through your digestive tract, and moves cancer-causing compounds out before they can create harm. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as legumes (lentils,black/kidney/pinto/lima beans, chick/black-eyes peas. There is no fiber in meat, dairy products, sugar, or “white” foods like white bread, white rice and pastries.
- Use brown rice instead of white rice. Substitute whole-grain bread for white bread.
- Use beans instead of ground meat.
Cut down on Meat: vegetarians are about 50% less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. Meat lacks fiber and other nutrients that have been shown to have cancer-protective properties. Meat is also high in saturated fat (high fat diets have been linked to higher cancer rates), and can develop carcinogenic compounds, depending on how it is cooked.
- Avoid processed meats entirely, and eat red meat (beef, lamb, pork) sparingly.
- Use meat as a flavoring or a side dish, not as the entrée. Reduce the portion size to 3-4 ounces.
- Choose leaner meats (fish, buffalo, venison, turkey) and buy organic, if possible.
- Add beans and other plant-based protein sources to your meals as a substitute for meat.
Choose your Fats wisely: eating a diet high in fat increases your risk for many types of cancer. But some types of fat may actually protect against cancer.
Fats that INCREASE cancer risk:
- Saturated fats: found in red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Reduce consumption of these.
- Trans fats: partially hydrogenated oils found in margarines, shortenings, salad dressings, and most packaged foods as a means of making foods less likely to spoil. Read labels and avoid any foods containing these.
Fats that DECREASE cancer risk: unsaturated fats that come from plant sources (olive oil, canola oil, nuts and avocados). Also, focus on omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, tuna, walnuts, and flaxseeds), which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health.
- Add nuts and seeds to salads, soups, cereal. Use flaxseed oil.
- Cook with olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
- Choose non-fat dairy products, and trim the fat off of meat.
- Avoid fast food, fried foods, and packaged foods.
- Eat fish once or twice per week.