How Foods Affect Cancer Prevention

Wed, 06/13/2012 - 11:38am -- Katherine Lawrence

Scientists have been researching the influence of diet and cancer for decades and have accumulated a large body of evidence linking the two. According to the National Cancer Institute, 35 - 60 percent of cancers are directly attributable to our diet. This means we have much more influence over our health than we originally thought. Based on this research, the ideal diet is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and low in fat, carcinogens and hormone producing foods.

Foods to Maximize
Fiber means "plant roughage" and is available in every type of plant, including beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, seeds and nuts. Whole foods are much higher in fiber than processed foods like bread and pasta. Fiber removes carcinogens, toxins, excess hormones and cholesterol from the body. According to The Cancer Project of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), an ideal goal is 40 grams of fiber per day.

Each plant food contains a unique mix of vitamins and minerals. By eating plants from all colors of the rainbow, we get all of the antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds we need to keep our bodies strong. Vitamins and minerals are temperature sensitive, so cooking below 200°F will retain maximum nutrition. Additionally, cooking in water may also cause nutrient loss.

Foods to Minimize
Added fat in the diet inevitably leads to excess body fat. This body fat produces hormones which may fuel certain types of cancers, such as breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Cooking without added oils will help lower fat intake. Dr. Neal Barnard, renown cancer prevention expert, recommends fat should only be 10% of total calorie intake.

Another powerful hormone producer is dairy products. They tend to stimulate production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which may fuel these same types of cancers. Countries with the highest intake of dairy products also have the highest rates of breast and prostate cancer.

Anytime animal tissue is cooked, it can create carcinogens which may initiate the cancer process in the body. The longer or hotter the meat is cooked, the more carcinogens are created. Studies show that meat intake is directly related to increased rates of leukemia, colon cancer and kidney disease. Other carcinogens may come from food preservatives, air pollution, tobacco smoke or many other sources.

Saladmaster cookware makes it easy to strengthen our bodies' defenses against cancer by making high-fiber, low-fat meals with maximum nutrient retention. This is achieved because cooking can be conducted at a low heat and without using water or adding oil.

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Submitted by Bob LeBuildier on

It seems that what we always here is true, reduce your bad fat intake and you will be healthier.