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The Anti-Cancer Diet

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi there!
I found some pretty good info - not too technical and easy to grasp. Here is a portion and I can continue to post the rest; thought the whole thing would cause eye strain!
I have started with the first three of the 12 tips.
If anyone wants, I can list the link....
Have a great day!!


Topics included in this section are:

12 Dietary Changes that Will Lower Your Cancer Risk
The Top Anti-Cancer Foods
The 10-step Anti-Cancer Program
Examining the Link Between Diet and Cancer
How Exercise Fights Cancer


Some foods actually contribute to the development of cancer; other foods lessen the risk. The following anti-cancer diet greatly lowers your risk of colorectal cancer and nearly all other types of cancers. It can also prevent cardiovascular disease. For people with a genetic tendency toward colorectal cancer, it is not just an option, it's a lifesaving necessity.

1. Keep your diet low in total fat and very low in saturated fats. There are at least two ways in which dietary fat contributes to cancer. First, tumor cells need low density lipoproteins (LDL's) to grow. Therefore, a diet that helps to lower LDL levels could keep potentially cancerous cells from growing. Eating fat also stimulates the production of bile, which is needed to digest fat. If a lot of bile is allowed to stagnate in the large intestine for a long period of time, it's converted into apcholic acid, a proven carcinogen. Here are tips for eating not only less fat, but eating the right fats:

Eat less total fat. Limit your daily fat intake to no more than 20 percent of your total food calories. This means that if you average 2,500 calories a day, fat should provide no more than 500 of these calories. This means you should eat around 55 grams of fat per day, maximum. (On a 2,000 calories per day diet, you would eat about 45 grams of fat.)

Eat the right fat. Eating the wrong kinds of fat may be even more cancer-causing than eating too much fat. Cancer researchers became aware of this fat fact when they noticed that the incidence of most cancers is less in some cultures who actually have a high-fat diet, such as Eskimos (who eat a lot of seafood rich in omega 3 fatty acids) and the Mediterranean diet (which is plant-based, but high in monounsaturated oils). Some fats don't contribute to cancer and may in fact have some anticancer properties:
* Unsaturated fats, found in plant foods, such as legumes
* Vegetable oils that are high in monounsaturated fats, such as olive (Greek women who tend to eat a diet rich in olive oil have a very low incidence of breast cancer) and canola oil. A 1998 study showed that men who eat less animal fat and more vegetable fat in their diets had less prostate cancer.
* Seafood, such as salmon and tuna, that is high in omega 3 fatty acids
* Oils that contain more omega 3 than omega 6 fatty acids, such as flaxseed, pumpkin seed, canola, soybean (not hydrogenated), walnut, safflower, sunflower, sesame, and virgin olive oils. (Heating vegetable oils at high temperatures can change fatty acids and make them carcinogenic. Peanut oil and extra virgin olive oil stand up best to cooking, but try not to boil them. It helps to keep stirring stirfrys so the oil doesn't get burnt.)

Studies in experimental animals showed that fish-oil-supplemented (high in omega 3 fatty acids) animals had significantly fewer colorectal tumors. Omega 3 fatty acids (such as those found in fish oils and flax seed oil) are not only the heart-healthiest fats, but they may have anticancer properties. Eskimo women who have a high concentration of omega 3 fatty acids in their diet have a lower incidence of breast cancer. (It is thought that omega 3 fatty acids may block the effect of estrogen on breast cells, thus lowering the risk of them becoming cancerous.)

Don't eat bad fats. Avoid oils high in saturated fats, such as palm, palm kernel, coconut, and cottonseed oils. Hydrogenated fats (those that have been chemically changed from unsaturated to saturated fats), are potentially carcinogenic. Adding hydrogen to a fat molecule may enable the molecule to interfere with the normal metabolism of cells in the body, setting the cell up for cancerous changes. So get used to reading labels. If any food contains "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" fats, leave it on the shelf. Most fast-food outlets use hydrogenated fats. (Ask! If they do, don't eat the food.) Nearly all packaged foods, such as potato chips, contain hydrogenated fats, since these allow a longer shelf life.
Too much body fat is one of the leading risk factors for cancer, especially colorectal cancer. Obesity is also a risk factor for breast cancer ; increased fat tissue raises circulating estrogen levels, which increase the risk of breast cancer. Vegetarian women who typically consume a low-fat, high-fiber diet tend to have lower blood levels of estrogen, excrete more estrogen in their stools, and therefore are less prone to breast cancer. Obese men have a higher rate of prostate cancer . The two ways to stay lean are to exercise and to maintain healthy eating habits.

2. Increase Your Fiber Intake. In all the research between food and cancer, the evidence for a relationship between a high fiber diet and lower chances of colorectal cancer is the most conclusive. It follows common sense as well. Fiber moves potential carcinogens through the intestines faster, decreasing the contact time between carcinogens and the intestinal wall. The less exposure to carcinogens, the less chance of colon cancer. Besides pushing them through faster, fiber binds carcinogens, keeping them away from the intestinal wall. Fiber also absorbs bile acids, keeping them from acting on bacteria to produce fecapentanes ,the cancerous substances that are formed by decaying foods within the colon. There are about twenty of these compounds that can mutate colon cells into cancerous cells. Fiber also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines, which crowd out the undesirable bacteria that produce fecapentanes. A high fiber diet seems particularly protective against cancer in persons who have a hereditary risk of developing precancerous colorectal polyps. In a study of persons who were at high risk for developing colorectal cancer, those who ate at least thirteen grams of wheat bran fiber a day (All-Bran is a good source) for eight weeks showed less growth of potential cancer cells in the colon. Besides lowering the risk of colorectal cancer, a high fiber diet can lower the risk of breast cancer by binding estrogen in the bowels, thereby lessening the estrogen effect in the cells of breast tissue.

Based on both these scientific and common sense findings, we suggest you eat at least 25 grams of fiber a day. Best anticancer fiber sources are: wheat bran, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, whole wheat, whole grains, legumes, whole grain bread, and prunes. Get used to looking at the package label to find the fiber content of foods. Simple modifications in your diet can increase the amount of fiber you eat. Use whole grain breads instead of white bread (white bread is junk bread). Eat beans regularly (try a salad composed of kidney beans, garbanzo beans, broccoli, and other raw vegetables). Have a big bowl of high fiber bran cereal for breakfast.


An Apple a Day May Keep the Cancer Doctor Away

Pectin, the fiber in apple skin, is fermented in the intestines, producing short- chain fatty acids that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. They also nourish the cells of the intestinal lining, making them more resistant to becoming cancerous.

3. Eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables. The consensus of the hundreds of studies exploring the link between diet and cancer is that eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of all types of cancers. Eating more fruits and vegetables decreases your appetite for fatty foods, which themselves increase the risk of cancer. Plants also contain phytochemicals . Substances that may help your body fight cancer. The five major classes of compounds that occur in fruits and vegetables as natural blocking agents against carcinogens are: phenols, indols, flavones, cumines, and isothiocyanates. These neutralizing agents prevent carcinogens from reaching critical target sites within the cell. The vegetables most important to reducing the risk of cancer are the cruciferous vegetables : broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, kale, and cauliflower. These vegetables contain three cancer-protective biochemicals: sulforaphane, which not only boosts immunity but blocks enzymes that draw carcinogens into healthy cells; compounds that prevent the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the intestines; and indoles, which lessen the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers estimate that eating lots of cruciferous vegetables could lower your risk of breast and colon cancer by 40 percent. Making your main meal, such as lunch, a huge salad (with no more than a tablespoon of vegetable oil as a dressing) would be one of the healthiest habits you could get into. Best salad sources of anti-cancer nutrients are: dark green leafy spinach (instead of iceberg lettuce, which is nutritionally useless), broccoli, tomatoes, red peppers, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans. As an added benefit sprinkle your salad with a bit of garlic , which has also been shown to have health-promoting and possibly anti-cancer properties. In addition, phytoestrogens from plant foods, especially cruciferous vegetables, can lower the risk of estrogen-dependent cancers, such as breast cancer. The phytoestrogens fill estrogen receptor sites on cells, keeping the cancer-causing estrogen from promoting the growth of malignant cells.

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Struth Maura! You are a wealth of information! I guess seeing as how I am chief cook and bottle washer in this household I better sit up n take notice. Actually, since I had surgery/chemo I thought a man had to start looking at what he was cooking and the food he used. Jen was trying the weight loss thingy so we started to look pretty closely at what we should/should not throw down our throats. One of the things we changed was chucking out the "white" bread....now we buy wholegrain. I have had a revamp on cooking in general and fresh vegetables figures high on the menu.....but...I never overcook. In any case it tastes better that way.We eat more fruit now than we ever did. Oh..and that includes a good helping of kiwi fruit! We used to eat lots of the junky stuff but now I think we have curbed our evil ways. There is one thing tho. For all my life I was a milk junky....drank at least a litre a day. Some researchers have said that I was a bad boy! Yet a while back a research into milk said that milk consumption was actually a very good anti-cancer food. So manty tims I see conflicting reports so it gets confusing. If milk was so good why did it not prevent my cancer.
mmmm.....sometimes these conficting reports by researchers do throw up a lot of questions.
Huggs, Ross n Jen

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Well.....don't know about the wealth of info - I'm just getting a handle on the copy and paste function here and there! But thanks.
You know, I have been having questions about milk products myself. I still drink it as a source of protein and I eat yoghurt for the the cultures which are so good for our intestines. Maybe someone can chime in one this one. I have started to add soy milk into the mix; it is easy to get used to and one can look for the unsweetened type. And I am enjoying goat cheese - seems easy for my body to digest. I hope someone can help us out with dairy info....
As for the prevention of our cancer.....Lordie, I think there are a lot of things which can contribute. Part of what I have been reading lists stress - and not diet - as the number one cause. I had a good diet before my cancer hit, but I do know that I had been under a lot of stress.....I am really thinking about how I can step back from things now......not that I am perfect at all....
And coming here to laugh is great medicine!!
I love kiwis....and they are so rich in Vitamin C - maybe one of the highest of all fruits.
Anyway, so glad to hear that you hve switched to whole grains; I think it is called whole-meal down under?
Question for you....'cuz I haven't heard 'struth' too much. Is it like 'crikey'? I used to hang out with some Aussies, and I still say remnants of ozzie-talk, like "the phone is engaged"....NOT an American saying at all...hah!
Take care and happy HEALTHY eating!!!

Posts: 26
Joined: Mar 2005

Thank you Maura..... your info can help alot of people.

Thanks again,

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Great post Maura with loads of excellent info. I too get confused with all the conflicting information so I just try to eat healthy stuff. I read recently that the whole egg scare based on choleserol was done on eggs from the injected, penned up nasty chickens and not on the eggs from natural chickens. Apparently natural chicken eggs have the good cholesterol and the injected chicken eggs have the bad ones. DUH!!!!! Drug induced meat is bad for us and anyone that doesn't know most of our US meat is injected with drugs that are not legal people to take is naive. Human growth hormones are pumped into the animals we ingest everyday.

I do dairy products, but not too much and they are all natural. You just have to trust your gut sometimes.

Some of us learn that certain foods irritate our innards, but that is not always the case with others. You have to trust your own intellect and taste buds.

The coolest thing about soy milk and it's products is that they are a vegetable, not dairy. I love the idea of having a vegetable for breakfast.

Lisa P. who loves her chocolate soy milk almost too much.

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Thanks, Lisa. I'm finding great organic milk - even locally 'grown' - around here.

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Maura,
Sounds like good info; I would love to have the link; printing it out to read on the deck may be more inviting than peering at my screen.
Thanks so much. Judy

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi Judy,
Here you go: www.askdrsears.com/html/4/T040300.asp

Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2005

Excellent diet tips. We have read the same about dairy products yooghurt is supposed to be fine because the live cultures break down the bits in the milk that is hard for us to digest. We have found flax seed oil capsules, made by company called melrose not sure if you have it over there just so much easier to get omega 3's etc from a capsule if you dont like the taste of the oil on salad. Apple cider vingear is supposed to be really good for digestion and much better than white vinegar in salads too!
take care

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

In answer to yor question Maura.
Wholegrain---from the American Assos. of Cereal Chemists
"Whole cereal grains and foods made from them consist of the entire grain seed usually referred to as the kernel. The kernel is made of three components - the bran, the germ and the endosperm. If the kernel has been cracked, crushed or flaked, then in order to be called whole grain, it must retain nearly the same relative proportions of bran, germ and endosperm as the original grain."

Whole grain ingredients may be used whole, cooked, milled into flour and used to make breads and other products, or extruded or flaked to make cereal products."
The above I think refers to American standards. For Australia check out this link;
This is a link explaining some interesting stuff about wholemeal and GI (Glycaemic index)

An overview of both;
What are wholegrain foods?
Wholegrain and wholemeal cereal foods are those grain foods that include the outer layers of the grain, including the bran and germ. Many of the potentially beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals occur in the outer layers of grains such as wheat, rice, corn, millet, sorghum, barley, oats and rye. Wholemeal foods are made from wholegrains which have been milled to a finer texture rather than leaving them whole in the final product. Nutritionally, wholegrain and wholemeal foods are similar.

This link you will find very interesting from the Australian cancer council;

Bit longwinded I guess but nonetheless extremely interesting. As Jen is an IBS sufferer he finds it interesting.

Struth / crikey?? The only person in oz that uses crikey is crocadile man, Steve Irwin!!!!
love Ross n Jen

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Thanks.....for the fountain of grain-info.
And with crikey......I must have been hangin' with crocs mysielf.

HisJoy's picture
Posts: 115
Joined: Feb 2005

Maura, Thanks so much for the diet tips! As a diabetic, I have been watching what I eat and getting healthy, but it always amazes me that the EXACT SAME DIET is good for just about any disease: plenty of fruits and veggies and whole grains. Ya can't go wrong eating like that!

Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

You are so right. Just about every regime out now is a variation of a more logical way of eating:Less processed foods, less meat.....more plant based. Okay, better do my cut and paste routine for today.

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