Jul 08, 2005 - 1:00 pm
Hi again, Here is the continuation from yesterday. Hope you enjoy!
I did notice that in the soy section, Edamame - or the beans themselves - aren't mentioned too much. They are so good lightly steamed and added to a salad, or eaten on their own. See what you think.
Beginning in 1976 a group of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health set out to study the role of dietary factors in colon cancer and test some of the theories suggested by earlier studies. They followed 88,000 healthy women, ages 34 to 59 years of age, and discovered these correlations:
No association was found between the risk of colon cancer and vegetable fat or linoleic acid (the most abundant polyunsaturated fat) in the diet.
The reason for the red meat-colon cancer connection is still being studied. Current research suggests a combination of factors. High fat diets increase the excretion of intestinal bile acids, which act as tumor promoters. Some processed meats contain nitrosamines , which can be carcinogenic to the colon. Also, compared with vegetarians, meat-eating persons have different colonic flora. The effects of the meat may cause intestinal bacteria to transform bile acids into potential carcinogens.
In a fourteen-year study of 16,000 Swedish men and women, the foods that were associated with the highest risk of colon cancer were beef and lamb. As a lambchop lover, I took this study personally. Whenever our local meat market got in a shipment of lambchops, I stocked up. A month after my colon cancer was diagnosed, Martha took the thirty pounds of lambchops that were in our freezer back to the market and traded them in for salmon.
Not only can red meat itself be carcinogenic, but how you prepare it can also elevate the cancer risk. Grilling under high heat (such as searing or flame-cooking meat to well- done) can release carcinogens into the meat called heterocyclicamines, which can damage cellular DNA. Poaching , stewing, microwaving , or slow low-heat cooking releases fewer carcinogens.
5. Switch from an animal-based diet to a plant-based diet. The most compelling research linking diet to cancer are studies of groups of people who have primarily plant-based diets, for example vegetarians and Seventh Day Adventists, and who have a much, lower risk of cancer. One of the theories on the high incidence of cancer in modern times is the belief that the switch from plant based to animal based diets correlates with the increase in cancer. Plant food / less cancer correlation is primarily due to three health-promoting factors: Plants have less fat, more fiber, and more phytonutrients. Besides providing the anti-cancer properties of fiber, legumes (such as seeds, rice, soy beans, beans, and chick peas) contain anticancer properties called protease inhibitors, which have been shown to reduce the growth of breast, colon, and skin cancers in experimental animals.
6. Eat more soy products. Soy is a more healthful source of protein than meat. The primary anti- cancer value of soy seems to come from phytonutrients (for example, isoflavones) which inhibit the growth of new blood vessels necessary for tumor survival. Soy also protects against colon cancer by blocking the carcinogenic effects of bile acids (a process called angiogenesis). Isoflavones also help regulate the production of sex hormones, which could affect the risk of prostate and breast cancer. Studies have shown that women who eat more soy foods have less risk of breast cancer. Don't rely on highly-processed soy foods, such as soy burgers, soy sauce, and soy beverages to contain a lot of cancer-fighting isoflavones.
American women, especially those whose diets are low in soy products, are four times more likely to die of breast cancer than Japanese women whose diets are plentiful in soy. The reason this reduced risk is contributed mainly to the soy and not to the genes is that even in their own country those Japanese who eat the most soy foods get the least cancer. Soy seems to protect against the most common types of cancer, including lung, rectal, colon, stomach, prostate, and breast. Experimental animals who are fed high soy diets and then given a chemical that causes cancer, develop fewer tumors than the animals who are not fed soy. And you don't need to eat much to reap the benefits. One serving of soy (equal to a 1/2 cup of cooked soybeans, tofu, tempeh, or one cup of soy milk) a day can lessen the risk of cancer.
GENISTEIN CONTENT IN SOY
Soy Food Genistein Content
Be sure to consume soy products from a manufacturer that uses a water extraction process and not alcohol extraction, which can remove much of the genistein from the soy. Check the label or call the manufacturer.