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Research has shown that at least 50% of all cases of colorectal cancer could be prevented by lifestyle, and one recent Harvard study found that risk could be reduced by as much as 70% to 75%! Here are 10 things you can do to minimize your risk for colon cancer:
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Watch portion sizes and balance your food intake with activity to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
- Be physically active. Walking just 4 hours a week significantly reduces your risk, and being active will also help you achieve tip #1.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking increases your risk of many cancers not just colon and rectal cancer.
- Practice moderation when drinking alcohol. For women this means consuming no more than one drink per day, for men no more than two. All of the following equal one drink:
• 12 oz. can or bottle of beer or wine cooler
• 5 oz. glass of wine
• 1½ oz. shot of hard liquor
- Eat a plant-based diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants and are the best source of important phytochemicals. Green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are especially helpful as they may slow down or block the expression of cancer genes.
- Increase your intake of fiber. Whole grains, beans and legumes contain important vitamins and minerals, and are excellent sources of fiber. They help to soften your stools, prevent constipation and keep things moving through your GI tract.
- Eat less red meat and avoid processed meats.
- Don’t overcook your meat. It’s important to cook meats enough to prevent food-borne illnesses, but overcooking can cause cancer-causing compounds to form.
- Replace animal fats with nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Olive and canola oil are great choices. Fish oils containing omega 3 fatty acids offer additional health benefits for your heart, brain and immune system.
- Be sure to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D in the body are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. For the best advice on whether you need extra calcium or Vitamin D, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Since its inception, the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation (Susie’s Cause) has followed a specific road map for success and firmly established itself as the National Voice for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of Colon Cancer. (Susie’s Cause) will continue to strive to eliminate colon cancer as a life-threatening disease through the development and dissemination of grass roots educational programs and a robust online campaign to touch both medical professionals and the general public worldwide. Please support our efforts to save tens of thousands of lives each year.
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One of my biggest priorities as a mom is providing my kids with a healthy diet. Sometimes I'm met with success (they love vegetables), but other times it's a little more difficult ("Eww! What is this?!?"). I try to expose them to a wide variety of healthy foods, so that eating this way becomes a normal part of the rest of their lives. My kids are 6, 4 and 1, and even though I control most of what they eat at this age, I still shake my head at some of the food that's served when I'm not around. My kindergartner can't go to a Girl Scout meeting, sporting event or even morning snack at school without adults serving her junk food. So when I'm given the opportunity to bring something, I see it as a chance to show kids that healthy food can taste good.
Sometimes I get flak from other parents (including my own) because I don't let my kids order whatever they want at a restaurant or limit the foods I bring into our home. I don't think I'm denying my children the joys of childhood by not serving them many common "kid foods." If substituting vegetables for French fries or telling them they can't have the corndog on the menu is the worst thing I do as a mom, I think I'm on the right track.
At the same time, I realize that putting some foods off-limits often makes them the "forbidden fruit," and they can become the food my kids want most. Just like adults, completely denying yourself the foods you enjoy makes you more likely to binge on them later. I don't want my child to go crazy at a friend's house because their mom serves chocolate milk and I only serve plain. My kids get treats and snacks they like, but there are certain foods they will just never get from me. Recently, I read an article about the top foods nutrition experts won't feed their kids, which inspired me to write this blog. Wondering what foods are on the "off limits" list for this personal trainer's kids? Read More ›
Best Foods to EatYou don't have to hit a health food store to find foods that help you lose weight, boost your energy and stay healthy. They're right in your grocery aisle! Here are the top 12 superfoods you can easily find, plus 12 simple, inexpensive recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Nonfat Ricotta CheeseRicotta boasts three times the calcium of cottage cheese and is made from whey protein, a nutrient that may help you lose weight by preserving muscle (which you lose with age, causing your metabolism to slow).
Do pesky fruit flies hover around your fresh produce? Find out how you can get them out of your kitchen.
Fruit Flies 101
Adult fruit flies (Drosiphila melanogaster) range in size from 1 to 2 millimeters, have red eyes and tan or brownish body. They like to lay their eggs on fruit that’s getting ready to be harvested; that’s how they make it into your home, though they can come in through open doors and windows. Once in your home, these small flies will hang out near rotting fruit, especially old bananas hanging out on your counter. These flies reproduce quickly—they can lay up to 500 eggs over the course of their 1-week lifespan.
Other common breeding grounds for these bugs include decaying meat, large spills of sugary soda or alcohol, sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash receptacles, wet mops and dirty rags. Read More ›
Eating local foods is healthy for you, for the environment and for your community. By choosing locally-sourced goods, you’ll not only support farmers, bakers and artisans in your community, but you’ll also be adding the freshest-tasting foods available to your diet. Another (often unrealized) benefit to going local is the relationships you’ll form within your community — with other local shoppers at the farmer’s markets, with those who grow and produce your food and with local foods advocates like yourself.
Local food is getting a lot of buzz lately. It can be overwhelming to weed through all the press to find the good stuff you need to know, so we’ve come up with a list of tips to help you get started. And getting started might not be too difficult — you probably already know of a few of these or have adopted some into your lifestyle. Read More ›
When to Buy Full-Fat
When you’re at the grocery store and two options are staring you down—one that says “reduced fat” and one that’s unapologetically full-fat—choosing the less fattening option is a no-brainer, right? Not so fast! “Just because a product is labeled ‘fat-free’ or ‘lowfat’ doesn't mean it’s healthier or even lower in calories,” says Jared Koch, a nutritionist in New York and the founder of Clean Plates. “In fact, most lowfat or fat-free foods will have sugar and chemicals to make up for the loss in taste, which renders them poor nutritional choices.”
Plus, our bodies need healthy fat in our food to keep our cell walls strong, absorb important vitamins and regulate our hormones. Taking away that fat and adding in chemicals can have another unexpected result: Franken-foods that don’t cook the way they should, or crumble up when they shouldn’t. Here are eight full-fat foods that are actually better for you than their reduced-fat or nonfat relatives.
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The heat is on! But as much as we can complain about it, I am loving every minute of this summer. How about you? I've been enjoying just the right amount of busy-ness and relaxation, and I'm not letting the high temperatures get in the way of my fun—or my fitness.
Here are some of the fitness products, apparel, foods and otherwise healthy pursuits that I can't get enough of this season. Hopefully some of them will help YOU stay on track, too! Read More ›
How to EatDo you sometimes feel like you're being bombarded with hot-off-the-presses information about the best way to eat? (Gluten-free will help you lose weight! Swap sugar for agave! Fat-free is healthiest!) It's enough to make you think the heck with it and grab a bag of cookies. Deep breath: It's not nearly as complicated or restrictive as it seems. Ditch these old misconceptions and follow this simple advice.
You’ve heard: Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.New thinking: Fill half your plate with produce at every meal.
Of course it's ideal to eat your nine servings, but who can keep track? This new guideline, from both the Harvard School of Public Health and the USDA, is an easier, don't-have-to-think-about-it way to make sure you're eating enough of the good stuff. "Nothing is more important to lowering your risk of just about every ailment—especially cancer and heart disease—and staying at a healthy weight (or losing it if you need to) than eating lots of produce," says registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, author of Eat Your Way to Sexy. As for the other half of your plate? One-quarter should be lean protein (fish, chicken, lean cuts of pork and beef) and one-quarter whole grains (brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, couscous).
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One thing I don’t have patience for is being hungry. I’ve never been one of those people who can go all day without remembering to eat. My body is like an alarm clock, and when the buzzer goes off that it’s time to eat, it just keeps getting louder until I do something about it. When I get really hungry, the first thing I grab for is usually a granola bar or something else that’s high in carbohydrates. I always figured that’s because it’s quick and easy, but new research shows that my growling stomach could be causing me to gravitate toward these types of foods. Read More ›
A staggering 63 percent of Americans are overweight. The most common cause? We eat more food than we need—and we're all guilty of doing it: mindlessly munching on a bag of pretzels during a reality TV marathon or treating ourselves to a second helping when the first was plenty. But boredom and indulgence aside, why else are we reaching for a snack when we should feel full? Some of it can be blamed on habit, while other triggers have more to do with our body's hunger signals. Check out the list below to find out the most common overeating pitfalls and simple solutions for avoiding these traps.
1. You didn't get enough sleep last night.
Lack of rest stimulates two faux hunger triggers: energy deficiency, to which our natural reaction is to nourish our bodies, and appetite hormone confusion. "When our bodies are drained, levels of leptin—a hormone produced by our fat cells that controls our appetite—decrease, while levels of gherlin—a hormone produced by our stomach that stimulates our appetite—increase," explains American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Karen Ansel, RD. That's two hormones working against you. "Getting eight hours of sleep a night is the easiest thing you can do to prevent overeating." If you do fall short on zzz's, be sure to load up on nourishing, naturally energizing foods—such as fresh fruit, complex carbohydrates and lean proteins—throughout the day to help your body feel satisfied.
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Disney began focusing on providing healthier kids' meals at their Parks and Resorts beginning back in 2006. Now kids' meals routinely include low-fat milk and carrots unless parents opt out. Disney internal statistics reveal that parents will stick with these healthier side options six out of ten times instead of requesting substitutions. With more than 12 million kids' meals served annually in Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S. alone, the changes are making a difference in how children are eating. In September of 2010, The Walt Disney Company launched Disney Magic of Healthy Living, a national multimedia initiative to help families raise healthy, happy kids.
Last month the Walt Disney Company took another step forward in their brand commitment to healthy eating by introducing new food advertising standards. Under Disney's new standards, after 2015 all food and beverage products seeking advertisement, sponsorship, or promotion on any Disney-owned television channels (including Saturday morning programming on Disney owned ABC), radio stations, or Web sites will need to comply with the company's new nutrition criteria for programming targeting children under the age of 12.
By the end of 2012, consumers will also begin seeing the new Mickey Check symbol on Disney-licensed food products. Disney anticipates this tool will help consumers easily identify nutritious choices in stores, online and while visiting Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney also updated their nutrition guidelines to reflect current federal standards and recommendations. The new criteria include not only specifics related to calories but also to reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.
Let's take a closer look at the details of the Disney Nutrition Guideline Criteria to see how they stack up nutritionally.
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The Fourth of July is a time for flags, fireworks, food and fun! It’s also a time to remember that safe and convenient food has not always been readily available in our country. Today, the average person spends about 50 minutes in the kitchen each day preparing meals—about five minutes for breakfast, 15 minutes for lunch and up to 30 minutes for dinner. In colonial America, cooks would slave away over the stove for hours. Talk about your American Revolution!
However, some of our modern dining habits actually do bear similarities to those of our colonial ancestors. Beef, chicken, pork, fish, fruits, vegetables and baked products would have been familiar foods in colonial times. Colonial cooks used some of the same cooking methods we still use today, like frying, baking, broiling and boiling. And while the colonists enjoyed their coffee, tea, and hot chocolate like we do, they didn’t have a Starbucks in every neighborhood!
Not much else was the same. While we may not know exactly what George Washington ate for dinner on July Fourth, we do know several things about the preparation of foods in 1776. Here are a few highlights: Read More ›
It’s not exactly a news flash that milk can give you strong bones and carrots help sharpen your eyesight. But what you may not know is that you can get more disease-fighting bang by eating certain foods together. Think Simon and Garfunkel, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers—one’s good, but together they’re even better. Here, seven power couples.
1. Calcium + Inulin = Healthy Tummy, Strong Bones
If you’ve ever had a bout of tummy trouble, you should know about inulin (a type of fiber), which helps balance the levels of “good” bacteria in your digestive system. Inulin also benefits your bones by enhancing calcium absorption. You’re most likely to run across it as a fiber supplement (Fibersure) or added to foods like yogurt (Yo-Plus, Activia Fiber), but there are a few good natural food options.
Good Sources of Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese (all kinds), broccoli, kale, canned-with-bones salmon and sardines, tofu made with calcium chloride or calcium sulfate, almonds, fortified orange juice; fortified soy, rice or almond milk.
Good Sources of Inulin: Artichokes, dandelion greens, onions, garlic, leeks, chicory, bananas, whole-wheat flour, asparagus.
• Bananas in cereal with skim milk
• Grilled asparagus with shaved Parmesan
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Are there times that you feel like you're stuck in a rut with your current meal plan or that you just don't know what to make for certain meals? If so, then the Mix and Match Meal Planner may be just what you are looking for!
The Mix and Match Meal Planner is a tool that is very easy to use and can help you plan out healthy meals that meet your nutrition goals. Planning out your meals ahead of time can help you stay on track a lot easier than if you wait last minute to decide what you might eat. If you are anything like me and you don't like to cook and/or would like to find some quick and simple meals, then the Mix and Match Meal Planner may be just the thing to help you get on track (and stay on track) with eating healthier meals overall. This interactive feature allows you to choose the food items that you like, but it will also make sure you pick the right items to make it a complete meal that is healthy and tasty.
With all the different options available in the Mix and Match Meal Planner, there are numerous meals that you can create to give your meals quite the variety. You can not only save time with your meal planning, but you can also say goodbye to boring meals!
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