Spring has finally arrived and it’s time to dust off any bad habits you might have picked up during the winter months and get healthy for summer. In this issue we share:
- The latest thinking on diet and cancer, which may surprise you!
- Our super popular Mediterranean diet cookshop held only once per year
- Some clever and creative ways with cauliflower
- A virtual supermarket tour to coach you into action
- News of a snack section in Woolworths called ‘Healthier Bites’
- How tomatoes can power up your health
- The best ways to store your veggies
The Latest Guidelines on Nutrition and Cancer
Certain foods and dietary patterns are associated with a reduced cancer risk and improved survival after a cancer diagnosis. But it can take years for the science community to reach consensus so that governments and health organisations feel confident issuing new guidelines on controversial areas.
Now there’s a new approach being proposed: Why not invoke the precautionary principle – commonplace in toxicology and environmental science – where you use evidence when it is substantial, even if not conclusive?
This means that rather than waiting and wondering, you can start to act on the best available evidence today and better protect yourself and your family.
Using the precautionary principle
In a review published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (June 2014), Registered Dietitian Joseph Gonzales and his colleagues used the ‘precautionary principle’ to provide six areas of dietary guidance that will be useful to clinicians and patients alike. They discuss the evidence for each area, putative mechanisms as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. While not everyone will agree, the guidance certainly gives a good snapshot of what you can do now to be more pro-active about your health.
This advice is especially important if you have a family history of cancer, are at high risk of the ‘big C’, have had it before or are currently fighting the disease.
6 anti-cancer guidelines
- Limit or avoid dairy – This guideline mainly targets prostate cancer. Did you know that consuming 35 grams of dairy protein each day – the amount in about 4 cups of milk or 120 g cheddar cheese – may increase your prostate cancer risk by 32 %? Why? Milk tends to raise IGF-1 levels in your body (which promote cancer cell growth) and the high load of calcium is also thought to block vitamin D activation. Interestingly, calcium appears protective for colorectal cancer. But you can also obtain it from plant foods.
- Limit or avoid alcohol – This is to broadly target multiple cancer sites in the body. Just one drink per week may boost your risk of larynx, pharynx and mouth cancer by 24 %. And moderate drinkers (2-3 drinks per day) have a 21 % increased risk of colorectal cancer. When it comes to breast cancer in women, for each standard drink consumed daily the risk increases by 10 %. In other words, if you’re a gal and you share a bottle of wine each night with your partner, your relative risk of breast cancer is increased by 35 %.
- Avoid red and processed meat – Did you know that steak serving sizes at popular steak restaurants range from 250 grams to a whopping 500 grams? Yet for every 120 grams of red meat consumed daily, your risk of colon and rectum cancer goes up by as much as 28 %. Twice as deadly is processed meat because for half the amount (i.e. 50 grams) of processed meat eaten daily – think 2 slices of bacon or 1 sausage – your risk of these cancers rises by 21 %!
- Avoid grilled and fried meats – Preparing either meat, chicken or fish using these types of cooking methods is like playing with fire! It’s not due to the amount of oil you use – whether you spray the oil, shallow fry in it or BBQ directly on a hotplate. It relates to the amount of browning that occurs on the surface of your meat and the smoke chemicals that get incorporated into the meat if it’s exposed to an direct flame. Grilling, frying and BBQ-ing generally result in the formation of noxious chemicals, like HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which may increase your risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, pancreas and kidney. Eating ‘well done’ steak or chargrilled chicken fillet on a regular basis now, may mean you won’t be doing so well down the track!
- Consume soy products – Enjoying whole soy foods such as tofu, edamame and soy milk during adolescence may be one of the best ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer arising in adulthood. Have you got teenage children? Also, the consumption of soy foods (but not purified supplements) has been repeatedly linked in population studies with a reduced risk of cancer recurrence and death in breast cancer survivors. For example, a large study showed 11 grams of soy protein consumed daily (e.g. 1/2 cup tofu) reduced death rates and cancer recurrence by approximately 30 % in both pre- and post-menopausal Chinese women with either ER+ or ER- types of cancer! Other studies in Caucasian women show similar results.
- Emphasise fruits and vegetables – Dining on these foods each day helps reduce the risk of a variety of common cancers. For example, munching on plenty of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, rocket, watercress and radish, is linked with an 18 % reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer. How? The antioxidants in fruit n’ veg mop up ‘reactive oxygen species’ that damage your cells and bodily tissues. Plus, glucosinolates (a type of phytonutrient) have anti-tumour properties by inducing phase II enzymes in your liver (a natural ‘detox’) and some other phytonutrients in fruits and veggies help regulate destruction of existing cancer cells.
Overall, the advice emphasises plant foods as being the most protective for reducing your risk of cancer and improving your chances of survival even after you have been diagnosed.
For an added bonus, you might like to know that plant-based diets (not popular fad diets) also provide increased protection against heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight.
How your dietitian can help
As dietary changes can be challenging, working alongside a friendly dietitian can help! Once you know what else you can eat – and that it can be both easy and delicious – preparing new meals won’t be a chore. At our cookshops we also show you alternatives to ingredients such as dairy, to ensure you still receive adequate calcium from plant sources and that your diet remains nutritionally adequate.
“Excessive animal protein is at the core of many chronic diseases.” – Dr Colin Campbell
What’s Cooking? – The Magic Mediterranean Diet to Fight Disease & Increase Your Longevity
Have you ever thought a healthy diet tastes bland? Well, we’re about to send your taste buds soaring on an exciting journey to the Mediterranean, where the food is irresistible and your body gets all the benefits!
If you’d like better results with your elevated sugar and cholesterol without giving up on flavour, then this is for you (and you’re in for a treat!).
Join us for Sue Radd’s personal favourite cookshop and discover the delights of the Mediterranean diet, full of delicious foods like tenderly cooked beetroot (with its’ leaves), black eyed bean salad with lemon and shallots, and horta (bitter greens seasoned with plenty of extra virgin olive oil) – all things you can make ahead for a busy week! Sue will be back from Greece, with the latest culinary tricks and scientific findings to share with you. She will explode the myths about cooking with extra virgin olive oil and recommend an amount that’s right for you!
The best news is that the Mediterranean style of eating is easily adapted to your Australian kitchen. And research has proven time and time again that it can do wonders for many conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease to breast cancer, depression and fatty liver. So it’s a perfect way to eat for the whole family!
Why not make delicious food your medicine? It’s easier to stick to and so much more enjoyable.
On the night you will get to enjoy 5 dishes – from entrée to dessert – and take home the recipes and handouts!
When: Tuesday, 7th October, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Learn more about our cookshops
Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to avoid disappointment. We run this event only once per year and it always sells out fast. Bring your partner and make it an evening out!
What’s Fresh? – Cauliflower
Did you know that not all cauliflowers are white? The “cabbage flower” is also available in purple, green and orange. Cauliflower is a member of the brassica family, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and bok choy. The roundish heads (called curds) look like creamy white clouds and are attached to a central stalk with a green leafy base.
This cruciferous vegetable has a long history dating back to ancient times. Originating in the Northeast Mediterranean, it wasn’t until the 18th century that it gained popularity throughout Europe and England. Cauliflowers were planted on Norfolk Island in 1788 and were also recorded growing at The Rocks in Sydney in the early 1800s, with some being as large as 4.5 - 5.5 kg!
Cauliflower is a good source of vitamin C and also provides fibre, vitamin K and potassium. Thanks to its many phytonutrients, the cauliflower can deliver a range of health benefits to your plate. For example, it aids coronary heart disease, bone/joint health, brain and nervous system function, immunity and hydration. One of its phytonutrients called indoles (responsible for the sulphur smell that is released with overcooking) is also being studied for protection against several types of cancer.
Cauliflowers are available in Australia all year round but grow more optimally in cooler weather. The best months to buy cauliflower are between March and October. Be sure to select one with compact, firm curds, with florets tightly pressed together and bright green leaves at the stem. A cauliflower with a yellow tinge, brown spots or loose florets indicates over-maturity. To keep your cauliflower fresh, store it unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Cauliflower can be eaten raw (the best way to maximise indole content), roasted, boiled or lightly steamed for dips and salads. To prepare cauliflower for cooking, wash under water and break off florets into smaller pieces to ensure even cooking. While the florets are the most commonly eaten, the stem and leaves are also edible and make a great addition to soup stocks.
6 fun ways to eat cauliflower:
- Roast in the oven, process (using a food processor) and roll out like dough for a healthy pizza crust, then bake with your favourite topping
- Add to Indian curries with chickpeas or tofu
- Make our quick n’ easy Cauliflower Mash. Delicious! And perfect for diabetes!
- Chop florets coarsely then pulse in a food processor to create cauliflower “rice”
- Enjoy a creamy cauliflower and celery soup
- Steam and process into a creamy white sauce or dip
Virtual Supermarket Tour – Need Coaching to Become a Savvy Shopper?
Do you ever wonder whether your weight loss efforts could be even more effective if you could just decipher those tricky food labels? Want to know the best brands to buy in the supermarket?
Join us for a virtual supermarket tour and get coached on how to read the fine print on packaging. Improve your confidence when shopping for the family and become supermarket savvy.
In this two-hour interactive seminar you will practise your skills by picking up boxes and checking nutrition information panels. We will take you through the aisles with the help of a big screen and provide you with nutrition benchmarks so you can select the best foods for your health needs.
Plus, you will get to take home helpful handouts on how to audit and re-stock your pantry!
And we gift you our special wallet shopping guide too!
What people who attended previous events have said:
“Loved it. Learned heaps. Can’t wait to go shopping!”
“The "Best Brands" section answered a lot of questions I've wanted answers to.”
“Thank you for opening my eyes a little wider.”
When: Wednesday, 22nd October, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Call today on (02) 9899 5208 to book your seat. This is a small group activity and we always have lots of fun!
Food Matters with Sue Radd – Going Raw
Have you heard of raw food diets trending right now? Find out how eating more raw could benefit your health, the pitfalls to avoid and how raw you should go.
Woolworths Healthier Bites
Looking for healthier snacks on the go? You might be interested in the launch of ‘Healthier Bites’ – a new dedicated section in Woolworths supermarkets offering a range of snack-sized portions of healthier foods. It includes over 100 chilled and on-shelf items, innovations and established products, such as vegetable-based crackers, 100 % fruit snack tubs, vegetable bars, fruit and nut mixes, reduced fat cheeses, berry and yoghurt cups, vegetable sticks and dips, and more. The concept is being rolled out across Australia and is endorsed by Nutrition Australia, a non-profit community nutrition organisation. Read more?
Food InFocus – Tomato Power: the Everyday Superfood
Everyone’s talking about exotic superfoods these days and, let’s face it, some are tricky to find and expensive to buy. But perhaps you have something sitting in your kitchen that has already earned super hero status. Enter the simple red tomato! Watch this TV episode with Sue Radd to discover why this commonly available food may have been overlooked.
Kitchen Tip – The Best Ways to Store Vegetables
Do you find yourself spending good money on fresh fruits and vegetables, yet you get only one or two meals out of them before they start to spoil?
Here are some tips to store your vegetables correctly so you can make the most of your fresh produce.
- Do not store fruits and vegetables together. Why? Fruits release a gas called ethylene as they ripen, which can spoil any surrounding vegetables.
- Pack your veggies loosely in the refrigerator. If one starts to go off, the closer they all are, the quicker they will rot.
- If storing vegetables in plastic bags, punch some holes in the bag to ensure good air flow.
- Store root vegetables, like potatoes and onions, in a dark cupboard away from heat and sunlight. Refrigeration will spoil their flavour and texture.
- But avoid storing potatoes and onions together. They can each give off gases that accelerate decay of the other.
- To add crispness to limp celery and asparagus, place the stems in cold water and refrigerate.
- Do not wash your vegetables until you are ready to use them.
- Although some vegetables last longer when stored correctly, it is best to eat all veggies sooner rather than later for optimal flavour and nutrient value.
Artichoke,asparagus, green peas, most herbs, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, shallots, spring onions
Basil (stems in water), pumpkin, squash
Less than 1 week
Broccoli, capsicum, cauliflower, chili, green beans, lettuce, pumpkin (cut), red radish, rhubarb, sweetcorn
Cucumber, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini
Brussels sprouts, cabbage (cut), carrots, celery, turnips, white radish
Beetroot, cabbage (whole), Chinese cabbage, parsnips
Garlic, onion, potato, pumpkin (whole), squash (whole), sweet potato
Adapted from CSIRO, Refrigerated storage of perishable foods.
Stay tuned! Next month we tell you the best ways to store fruit.
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Published by the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Copyright 2014.
Suite 10, 80 Cecil Avenue, Castle Hill NSW 2154 Ph: +61 2 9899 5208 Fx: +61 2 9899 2848 www.nwbc.com.au
We are a boutique Dietitians clinic in Sydney, Australia, offering one-on-one consultations, culinary medicine cooking workshops, motivational health seminars and nutrition advisory services to businesses in the local and global area.
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