The National Cancer Institute states that 1 in 3 deaths associated with cancer is diet related. It’s time to rethink our association with real food. Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, let medicine by thy food”. Powerful words, but not as powerful as the impact our meal plan has on our health.
We have so many great foods at our disposal. However, we also have some foods that many people consume everyday which are not serving us well. Over the course of these articles, I will highlight the positive choices that you can make, while advising you of some of the options that will not serve you well. I will give you healthy recipes for your meal plan, choices that will make a profound change in your mood and health.
The title of this article is “Meal Design And Cancer”, not “Diet And Cancer”. Too many of us equate the word “diet” with deprivation and starvation. “Meal design” allows us to use some of the most powerful foods available. With my culinary experience, we will make these foods easy to prepare and delicious.
Lets start with foods that could have a negative impact on your health. Processed foods have hidden ingredients and tend to be high in nitrates. Nitrates are used as a preservative and to give meats a desirable color. When foods containing sodium nitrates are processed, sodium nitrates are converted to nitrosamine, which is an identified carcinogen.
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are preservatives we should avoid. In hydrogenating, these oils are brought to high temperatures with metal catalysts, which are cancer-causing agents. These preservatives are also linked to obesity, which can lead to heart disease. To our disservice, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils only have to be listed on the ingredient list if the food item contains .5 gm per serving. The manufacturer controls the portion size, meaning a portion could potentially be one bite. Be sure to check labels carefully!
There are some great foods we can eat, that have a powerful, positive effect. Lets start with black raspberries. According to recent research, rats fed diets high in black raspberries saw the occurrence of esophageal tumors decrease by 43% to 62%. Black raspberries are rich in anti-oxidants, believed to have more cancer preventing properties than blueberries and you don’t need a recipe! You can eat them raw or in your oatmeal—steel cut, of course, with some cinnamon.
Another great choice is beans. Red kidney beans are an antioxidant rich food, more than blueberries. We can make some great dishes that will appeal to the whole family.
Chef Don Doward