Statistics show cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. Though we have become better at preventing cancer deaths through advancements in technology and treatment, it still takes too many of our loved ones every year. And unfortunately, when it comes to breast cancer (or any cancer for that matter) there is no “super food” that can guarantee you a life that’s cancer free. This is according to Molly Spaulding, a Registered Dietitian at Aurora Health Center Oshkosh.
But Molly says there IS a link between obesity and the development of cancer, so your weight does play a role. “That’s why maintaining a healthy weight should be a priority for everyone,” Molly explains. “And the best way to do that is through an active lifestyle and healthy diet.”
A healthy diet is one that is full of fruits and vegetables, especially those containing fiber and anti-oxidants. According to Molly, fiber is important because it helps you maintain your blood sugar and control your cholesterol levels, and it helps you to feel full, so you tend to eat less. It also helps promote good colon health.
As for anti-oxidants, “Those are important because they help inhibit oxidation in the body, or as I often explain to my clients, think of it as preventing ‘rusting’ in your body.” A good source for both is fruits, vegetables and some grain products.
In addition to foods to add to your diet, Molly says there are other things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer:
- Limit saturated fats, or fats that are solid at room temperature, like fatty meats, butter and heavy cream. These foods can increase cholesterol levels.
- Cook lighter. Instead of deep frying, try a cooking spray of canola oil which has a high smoke point. That way you’re using less fat and your food isn’t absorbing nearly as much of it.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, and exercise more. Think color, think variety, and get moving! Molly says “Eat the Rainbow”! Meaning, eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that are different colors. The variety of color means you’re getting a good variety of anti-oxidants as well.
- Try the freezer aisle. Vegetables tend to be frozen at their peak nutritional value, so a pack of frozen vegetables could get you the most bang for your buck.
The Pink Possible campaign provides breast cancer education, prevention, patient experience, research and survivorship activities. To make a gift or learn more go to give.aurora.org/pinkpossible