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Tag Archives: Cancer

Categories Healthy eating, In the news, Latest Research, Soya

Cut Your Risk of Cancer by Reducing Red Meat Consumption

An independent report by the Scientific Advisory Committee reviewed the links between meat consumption and bowel cancer. It suggested those who eat at least 90g of red or processed meat a day faced higher levels of the disease. This is significant as bowel cancer kills around 16,500 people in the UK every year.

The DoH has now recommended that consumers cut their consumption to eat  2.5 oz (70g) of red or processed meat a day – the equivalent of three rashers of bacon. The weekly recommended limit is likely to be 1.1 lb (500g), the same as eating a large pack of minced beef, two 8oz steaks or four 4oz pork chops.

With the British classic ‘meat and 2 veg’ dinner plate it can be easy to forget that there is a whole variety of protein sources to choose from to obtain a balanced diet, limiting reliance on red meat.

Lean White meat
Chicken, turkey and game are great sources of protein. When you can opt for organic meat to reduce your exposure to pesticides and to help keep your intake of saturated fat low don’t eat the skin and remove this before cooking. Eating more turkey is also good for the waist line as it is so low in fat plus it can boost mood as it contains the amino acid tryptophan which is needed by the body to make serotonin which hep to lift mood.

Organ meat
These  include liver, kidney and heart. As well as a protein source liver also contains iron, copper, B vitamins, Vitamin A & C. Pregnant women should avoid too much Vitamin A and therefore should avoid Liver unless advised to eat this by their GP.

Eggs
A great source of very digestible and absorbable protein along with being a great source of Iron and B vitamins.  Eggs make great breakfasts, scrambled or poached, easy snacks when boiled and great lunches when added to quiche or as a simple quick and nutritious dinner  stuffed with veggies of your choice an omelette is a winner.

Beans & Pulses
Beans and pulses are good sources of vegetable protein as well as providing plenty of fibre and being rich in the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and folic acid. Add any of the following to soups, stews, curries or salads – lentils, chickpeas, aduki beans, pinto beans, haricot beans, butter beans, kidney beans, mung beans, cannellini beans, soya beans and split peas.

Quinoa
Although this is classed as a grain Quinoa is also a good complete protein source. You can sue quinoa grain like couscous or rice or quinoa flakes make a great porridge of savoury crumble topping.

Tofu
Tofu (Soya bean curd) also contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin K as well as being a complete protein. It works well if you marinade it with strong flavours and add it to stews, curries, soups and personally I like it grilled until a little bit crispy and then and added to salad.

Categories Heart disease, In the news, Uncategorized

Trans fats still a risk for coronary heart disease

Despite the recommendation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that trans fats should be banned, in line with current legislation in Denmark and New York City, the Government has today announced that it will neither ban the fats nor advise manufacturers to flag them up on food lables .

Trans fats are hydrogenated oils that remain solid at room temperature. They are harmful and have no nutritional benefits and, as they cannot be broken down in the digestive system, they accumulate and clog up arteries. Evidence is mounting that trans fats are implicated in cancer, multiple sclerosis, stroke, obesity and heart disease. They are found in many products, including deep fried foods, baked goods, ice creams, biscuits, snack bars and ready meals; cheap foods are more likely to contain trans fats as they are so convenient for manufacturers to use. Although Tesco and Sainsbury have stated that they will not use trans fats in their own brands, other convenience foods within the stores may be loaded with them.

Avoiding trans fats is not as simple as avoiding cigarettes or alcohol as consumers may find it difficult to know which foods contain them. The labels will not list ‘trans fats’ in the ingredients, but will list hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. As these foods are found in many foods marketed for children it may be particularly difficult for parents of young children to identify the offending fats and protect their families; shopping with small children is difficult at the best of times and searching through ingredients may not be an option.

As the Government appear to be unwilling to support consumers to improve their health, it is important for people to educate themselves about which foods are safe to eat. Avoiding fried foods and packaged foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil will help. In addition, eating foods that are rich in essential fats such as oily fish, nuts, seeds and cold pressed vegetable oils may help to redress the balance.  To gain more advice on how to avoid the dangerous fats and boost levels of healthy fats, why not make an appointment with Emma at Smart Nutrition.

Categories Cancer, In the news, Latest Research

Walnuts could prevent prostate cancer

American researchers yesterday announced the findings of a study which saw the growth of prostate tumours in mice reduced by 30-40% when the animals were fed walnuts every day. Researcher Paul Davis hopes that the nuts can have the same effects on tumours in men.

The animals were fed the human equivalent of 2.4oz per day – about 14 whole walnuts, rather than a supplement like extract. A control group of mice were fed soya bean oil.

 Scientists believe that the secret lies in walnuts’ ability to reduce levels of endothelin, a substance that increases inflammation of the blood vessels.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second highest killer after lung cancer. 35, 000 Britons are diagnosed with it each year and 10, 000 of those will die from the disease. The causes of prostate cancer are not known, although a fatty diet that is low in fruit and vegetables is implicated.

Walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and other plant chemicals. They are known to decrease the risk of heart disease and they have been shown to help prevent breast cancer. Adding walnuts to a whole food diet that is low in saturated fat, sugar and processed foods, but high in fruit and vegetables is the best way to prevent prostate cancer.

To talk to someone at Smart Nutrition about prostate health and reducing your chances of contracting cancer by eating a healthy diet, call 01273 775 480 or click here to book a consultation.

Categories Cancer, In the news, Latest Research

Marvellous Mangoes

New research suggests that mango may be effective in preventing or halting breast or colon cancers. The American National Mango Board commissioned a variety of studies which tested the effects of mango polyphenol extracts in the laboratory on colon, breast, lung, leukaemia and prostate cancers. Mango showed some impact on lung, leukaemia and prostate cancers, but was particularly effective on breast and colon cancers. Importantly, the mango polyphenols did not harm normal cells.

The study found that the cell cycle was interrupted, providing crucial information on how the cancer cells may be stopped. The researchers suggest that mango polyphenols may prevent cells from mutating or becoming damaged.

The researchers hope to undertake a small clinical trial with individuals who have intestinal inflammation with an increased risk of cancer.

Mangoes are enjoyed in many parts of the world, but little has been known about their health attributes. They are low in antioxidants when compared with blueberries, acai or pomegranates, but it appears that they may have previously undetected anti-cancer properties. They are fantastic eaten raw: a mango hedgehog can be enjoyed by children as a healthy dessert, or the spikes can be removed and put into a fruit salad.  Mango can be added to smoothies and lassi or why not try this delicious low sugar cake made with dried mango?

Banana and Mango Cake

75g (2½oz) chopped dried mango

175g (6oz) wholemeal self-raising flour

50g (2oz) desiccated coconut

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

125g unsalted butter, melted

3 bananas, mashed

2 eggs, free range

50g (2oz) caster sugar or xylitol

10-12 no added sugar banana chips

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and base line a 20cm/8inch cake tin.

2. Place the mango in a small bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes and then drain thoroughly.

3. Place the flour, coconut, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the mango pieces.

4. Place the melted butter, bananas, eggs and sugar in a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Add to the flour and mix thoroughly.

5. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and decorate with the banana chips.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then on a wire rack.

To make a mango hedgehog, slice down each side of a mango from top to bottom, close to the stone, so you have two ‘almost halves’ with a middle slice clinging to the stone (you may find that the children fight over who gets this bit!). Cut across the flesh of each mango half in parallel lines, carefully so as not to cut through the skin. Now cut across these lines in the same way, so you have criss-crossed flesh with the skin intact. Turn the skin in on itself so you have a mound of spikes to decorate with raisins for eyes and a nose.

Mango Blueberry Smoothie, adapted from a recipe by MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN , published: January 27, 2010 in The New York Times

This drink is similar to lassi, made tangy with buttermilk (or yogurt), mango and spoonful of lime juice. If you want to make a nondairy version, use almond milk or rice milk.

1 heaped cup ripe mango, fresh or frozen

1 cup buttermilk or plain low-fat yogurt, or for a nondairy version almond or rice milk

2 teaspoons honey or agave syrup

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)

6 raw almonds (untoasted)

2 or 3 ice cubes if desired

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth.

Categories In the news, Latest Research

Rickets returns

A review published in the BMJ this week suggests that rickets is becoming disturbingly common amongst British children. Rickets is caused by vitamin D deficiency, which is triggered by insufficient sunlight and poor diet. It has been suggested that long periods of time spent indoors are contributing to the problem.

The researchers from Newcastle University suggest that milk and other food products should be fortified with vitamin D. The Food Standards Agency has resisited mandatory supplementation, suggesting instead that pregnant or breastfeeding women and people over 60 should take 10mcg vitamin D each day. They argue that everyone else should be able to meet their requirements from exposure to sunlight and diet. Vitamin D is stored in the body, so excess intake can cause toxicity.

Half of all adults in Britain are thought to suffer vitamin D deficiency in the winter and spring; the situation is worst in the north of England and in Scotland. Asian populations are at greater risk because they cover large areas of their skin; the housebound elderly are also at risk.

To reduce the risks of vitamin D deficiency, the skin should be exposed regularly to sunlight in spring and autumn, but more cautiously in summer. As summer approaches, unprotected exposure should be limited to short spells earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon as direct sunlight exposure is not recommended between the hours of 11am and 3pm to avoid burning. In the uk, winter sunlight does not contain the correct ultraviolet wavelengths for vitamin D production, but production and storage during the summer months should last through the winter.

Vitamin D rich foods can also be enjoyed; oily fish should be consumed three times a week. Liver, egg yolks, meat and milk are also sources of vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency is thought to be involved in a number of chronic diseases including mental health problems, cancer and autoimmune disease. To find out more about how to test your vitamin D status Click Here.

Categories Cancer, In the news, Latest Research

Pomegranate may slow breast cancer

Recent research has shown that an ingredient in pomegranates may help to slow the growth of breast cancer. In a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, ellagitannins in the fruit were found to inhibit an enzyme called aromatase in laboratory tests. Aromatase helps the body to produce oestrogen, which stimulates the growth of cancer cells. Drugs known as aromatase inhibitors are used to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

High levels of ellagitannin compounds were used in the study and it is not known if these levels could be achieved in animals or humans. However, Professor Stoner, of the Department of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University suggested that people should ‘consider consuming more pomegranates to protect against cancer development in the breast and perhaps in other tissues and organs.’

Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C , vitamin B5, potassium and antioxidant polyphenols. Research has also shown that pomegranate juice can reduce systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients and reduce heart disease risk factors. The seeds of the fruit also provide fibe and unsaturated fat.