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To Eat Or Not To Eat?

To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Diet and exercise to maintain a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. But not all diets are created equal, and experts at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have being working to distinguish between the good and the bad. They say that although general weight loss does help reduce the risk of cancer, diets must focus on long-term health and wellness and provide nutrients from all food groups in order for a body to be able to fight off disease.

The Good: Mediterranean Diet and Whole-Body Approach

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet meets many of the guidelines for diets that prevent cancer and heart disease, such as:

  • Incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and other plant-based foods into every meal
  • Choosing healthy fats (i.e. using canola oil rather than butter for cooking)
  • Using herbs and spices rather than salt to flavor meals
  • Limiting red meat and alcohol consumption
  • Eating poultry and fish at least twice a week

Whole-Body Approach

The Whole-Body Approach has somewhat similar guidelines to the Mediterranean diet, but also emphasizes the importance of eating six to seven small meals per day. Like other diets that contribute to long-term weight maintenance and cancer prevention, this diet encourages:

  • Adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to meals
  • Choosing lean protein over other, fattier options (opting for fish or poultry over red meat)
  • Limiting foods high in fat
  • Exercising regularly to maintain weight loss and general well-being

The Bad: Gluten- and Carbohydrate-Free Diets and Crash Diets

The bad list features popular diets such as gluten-free and carbohydrate-free solutions. These options rob you of energy and important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals that your body needs in order to fight off any disease.

Diets that completely cut out one food group or item, known as crash diets, can also be hard to maintain over a long period of time and are usually more of a short-term solution.

The Key to Dieting Success

The most important thing to remember when it comes to any diet is that moderation is the key to success. Choose a diet that can be maintained long-term and provides you with plenty of nutrients. Combine that with regular exercise to see lifelong results and lower your chances of getting colon cancer.

posted on February 14, 2011 in news