Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

The Tale of Fats, Cancer, and Heart Disease, Part II

About High-Cholesterol Foods

Some kinds of meat, poultry, and fish are fairly low in fat, but high in cholesterol. Fat and cholesterol are not the same thing. When it comes to heart disease, however, both saturated fat and (serum) cholesterol play a role.

Whether cholesterol in food also plays a role in causing cancer is not known. There is some evidence that a low-cholesterol diet will help to prevent cancer. But the amount of evidence is too small for making judgment.

The best course of action is to keep cholesterol intake, as well as fat intake, at a moderate level. It will help your heart and possibly help prevent other diseases, too.

Three types of food are notably high in (dietary) cholesterol:

  1. Eggs (actually, the yolk only)
  2. Organ meats
  3. Shrimp

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Adhi - March 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm

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The Tale of Fats, Cancer, and Heart Disease

The Fats and Oils Story

A hundred years ago, shoppers had few fats to choose from. Usually, only butter and lard were available to consumers.

Today, there are enough fats and oils on the market to confuse anyone. But all of them fall into one of three categories:

  1. Table fats (butter and margarines)
  2. Cooking and salad oils
  3. Shortenings

To  make things simpler, remember just one thing. All of these items are high in fat. In fact, the fat content of shortenings and oils is virtually identical. Butter and margarine have  slightly less fat because these spreads contain a small amount of water that shortenings and oils lack.

The Different Types of Fat

The only important difference between the many fats has to do with what nutritionists call “type of fat.” Some of the fat in food is saturated, while other fats are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. The saturated type of fat promotes heart disease, but others do not seem to do so. Somehow,  still there are controversies among experts and scientists regarding correlation between saturated fats and heart diseases or/and cancers.

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - March 25, 2010 at 2:15 am

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Dietary Fiber Prevents You from Cancer, Part III

Can Fiber Cause Trouble?

( continuation of the previous article )

Scientists believe that we may be able to adapt to high-fiber diets. But this is not known for sure. It is speculation based on a handful of studies.

The effect of fiber on minerals varies among the different types. Here is what scientists think based on current knowledge:

  • Iron nutrition probably won’t be affected by eating more fiber.
  • Fiber probably will decrease absorption of zinc and copper.
  • If zinc and copper intake is good, the decrease in absorption probably will not create any problems.

Whole grains contain more zinc and copper than refined grains, so this may offset any loss of these minerals resulting from the fiber. But until we know this for a fact, I feel it’s best to take a moderate rather than extreme approach to the fiber content of your diet.

Another Mineral-Robber

Fiber is not the only substances in whole grain foods that can bind to minerals. Whole grains also contain phytic acid, which can also tie up minerals. Nutritionists also refer to phytic acid as phytate.
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3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - March 17, 2010 at 6:05 am

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Dietary Fiber Prevents You from Cancer, Part II

More Whole Grain Ideas

(The previous story of fiber)

Of course, there are whole grain foods other than those that we think of as cereals.

Here are some ideas for whole grain foods that go well with lunch and dinner or make good snacks:

  1. for lunch : whole wheat or rye bread
  2. for dinner : brown rice, millet, bulghur wheat (as in tabouli)
  3. for snacks : graham crackers, rye wafers, or whole wheat crackers

All of these foods are moderate sources of insoluble fiber.

A Matter of Milling

You may be surprised to see brown rice and whole wheat bread described as only moderate sources of fiber. These foods contain less fiber than is commonly believed.

Brown rice, for example, has only a moderately higher fiber content than white rice. The difference amounts to about 1.5 grams per half cup of cooked rice.
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26 comments - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - March 16, 2010 at 12:39 am

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Dietary Fiber Prevents You from Cancer

In the history of nutrition, there never has been a story quite like that of dietary fiber.

For decades, nutritionists viewed fiber as all but worthless. It did not even qualify as a nutrient, because its absence didn’t cause the deficiency disease that result when diets are inadequate in protein, vitamins, or minerals.

As far as nutritionists could see, fiber served no useful purpose other than to prevent constipation.

But during the past decades, fiber has come into its own. It is now the focus of intense research. It is now known that fiber plays a role in regulation of blood cholesterol and blood sugar. Fiber may even help with weight control.

And, yes, it is likely that fiber can help to prevent cancer. Diet institutions and foundations in almost every country surround the world, such as the Committee on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer in In the U.S., has advised us to eat whole grain foods every day. These foods are usually a good source of fiber. How about processed grains? Grains that have been refined – such as white flour – contain only little fiber.

The Fiber Fan Club

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23 comments - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - March 11, 2010 at 7:35 am

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Minerals versus Cancer, Part III

The Best Sources of Iron

If you are concerned about your iron intake, consider some of these sources:

* Lean meats and shellfish

* Whole grain or enriched cereals

* Dried apricots, prunes, or raisins

* Nuts and wheat germ

* Dried beans and peas

* Leafy green vegetables

Liver, especially pork liver, contains large amounts of iron. But it is also rich in cholesterol. Too many of us eat too much of cholesterol-containing foods. Egg yolk has a moderate iron content; it is high in cholesterol, too.

The iron in flesh foods, called heme iron, is best absorbed by the body. Yet studies have found no more iron-deficiency anemia among vegetarians than among meat eaters.

One possible explanation is vitamin C. It enhances absorption of the iron in foods. Vegetarians often consume more vitamin C than meat-eaters. The vitamin C may compensate for the absence of meat in their diets.

A Look at Lead

Lead has long been in the headlines. Lead poisoning has occurred too frequently among children – often from eating chips of old paint that contained lead.
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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - March 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm

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Minerals Versus Cancer

Wouldn’t it be great to have a “quick fix” for every disease – pill that would prevent or cure all health problems? No one would have to give a thought to diet, exercise, or other health habits.

It is an alluring idea. Some have even proposed that the quick fix already does exist – in the form of a mineral called selenium.

But the wishful thinking is a little premature. There is some evidence that the minerals in our food play a role in preventing cancer. More research is needed, though, before we can draw any conclusions.

The Minerals in Food

Food contains a wide range of minerals. We need some of them in large amounts. Other minerals are required in very small amounts.

Nutritionists refer to the minerals needed in large amounts as major minerals. Those that we need in small amounts are known as trace minerals or trace elements.

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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - February 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

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Vitamin C Helps You to Fight Cancer, Part III

Handle with Care

If you are nutrition-minded, you probably try not to lose nutrients in cooking.

With vitamin A, you don’t have to worry. It is tough stuff; pretty much indifferent to water, heat, and even long periods of storage. Vitamin A doesn’t dissolve in water, so it doesn’t leach into water used in cooking.

But vitamin C is very sensitive. Heat, light, and oxygen can do it in. In fact, some loss of the vitamin C in food just cannot be prevented.

With a little effort, though, losses of the vitamin can be kept to a minimum. Here are the rules:

  1. The sooner fresh foods can be used, the better. Vitamin C breaks down during storage.
  2. Try not to chop these foods finely all the time. The fewer pieces a food is cut into, the lower its exposure to oxygen, which destroys vitamin C.
  3. The vitamin C in cabbage, cantaloupe, squashes, and strawberries is especially unstable. The sooner they are eaten after cutting, the better.
  4. Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - February 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm

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Vitamin C Helps You to Fight Cancer, Part II

How Much is Enough?

The RDA for vitamin C is 60 mg a day for adults. By the way, 60 mg of pure vitamin C crystals would measure only a fraction of a teaspoon.

The scientists who set the RDA, however, did not take the evidence on vitamin C and cancer into account.

Here is some more specific advice. Nutritionists have always recommended four or more servings a day of fruits and vegetables. I think at least two, and preferably three, should be foods supplying moderate to high amounts of vitamin C. I try to eat a food rich in vitamin C at every meal.

It is not hard. I can hardly start the day without my orange juice. So that is my first suggestion. Grapefruit juice is also a fine choice.

Here are some other tips that work for me:

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - February 23, 2010 at 7:50 pm

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Vitamin C Helps You to Fight Cancer

It is time to rewrite our nutrition textbooks. The textbooks of yesterday tell us that vitamin C prevents scurvy. They talk of the vitamin’s role in healing wounds. They explain that vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen, which holds cells together.

But an update is in order. It is not that vitamin C does not do these things. Rather, it does more – much more.

It may very well help to prevent cancer, says the Committee on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer (of the U.S.). The panel members were impressed enough with studies of vitamin C and Cancer to advise us to eat foods rich in vitamin C every day.

Scientists have found that cancers of the stomach and esophagus are less common among people who eat diets rich in vitamin C. In fact, year-round access to foods rich in vitamin C may be one explanation for the dramatic fall in stomach cancer rates in the case of the United States.

Stomach cancer was common in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, when some fruits and vegetables were available only seasonally. We now have year round access to these fruits and vegetables, and many are rich in vitamin C. And stomach cancer is no longer common. It does remain a major health problem in some parts of the world.
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2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by JavaHealth - February 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

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