By Amber Presely, MD Anderson Staff Writer
While you spend time with friends and family and celebrate our veterans this Memorial Day weekend, don't take a vacation from making healthy choices. A healthy lifestyle can help reduce your chances of developing cancer, so make the holiday a healthy one.
Use these tips to stay healthy and help prevent cancer.
1. Fit in activity
Taking a family road trip for the long holiday weekend? Try to schedule time in your trip to stop for a bike ride or brisk walk. Or get the family moving by kicking around a soccer ball or throwing a Frisbee for a few minutes.
Sitting less and adding more activity to your day can help lower your risks for many cancers. Get more tips to make your road trip healthy.
Recently in Nutrition Category
By Amber Presely, MD Anderson Staff Writer
By Joey Tran, MD Anderson Staff Writer
Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases, according to the American Cancer Society. Making healthy food choices may also help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your body in fighting shape if you do have cancer.
However, making healthy choices can be challenging when you're dining out. That's especially true if you're eating here at MD Anderson, when you already have many other things on your mind.
To make the best out of your healthy dining experience at MD Anderson, Ashley Smith, health and wellness manager of the department of Dining Services, has provided the following smart-eating strategies.
By Amber Presley
If you're focused on eating a balanced diet, don't forget your whole grains!
A diet rich in whole grains may help curb your risk of colon cancer - the third most common cancer among Americans.
In addition to helping prevent cancer, fiber from whole grains can help you stay full longer and maintain a healthy weight.
"Studies show that most Americans aren't eating enough whole grains," says Mary Ellen Herndon, a wellness dietitian at MD Anderson and the Healthy Bites challenge coach. "This means they're potentially missing out on vital nutrients."
So, how can you make sure you're getting enough whole grains in your diet? Use these resources from our Healthy Bites challenge to find out.
By Amber Presley
Most people kicked off the New Year with plans for a healthier 2013. But many of us have already fallen off track.
Luckily, it's never too late to refocus. MD Anderson's Healthy Bites challenge is perfect for anyone who wants to take small steps to better health.
"Each month, Healthy Bites focuses on one diet change that can potentially reduce your risk for cancer," says Mary Ellen Herndon, a wellness dietitian at MD Anderson and the Healthy Bites challenge coach. "Last month, we focused on eating breakfast every day. In February, we're asking you to eat a healthy meal or snack every five to six hours."
Below, Herndon shares answers to questions she's received from Healthy Bites participants.
Want to jumpstart your healthy new year? MD Anderson's Healthy Bites challenge may be perfect for you.
"Healthy Bites helps adults take small steps toward adopting a healthier diet," says Mary Ellen Herndon, a wellness dietitian at MD Anderson and the Healthy Bites challenge coach. "Each month, we encourage participants to focus on one diet change that can potentially reduce their risk for cancer."
Want to learn more? Below, Herndon answers frequently-asked questions about nutrition, dieting and Healthy Bites.
What's the best diet for preventing cancer?
Truthfully, I don't recommend a specific diet. Instead, I tell people to focus on a lifestyle and mindset change.
Want to stay cancer-free? Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, along with regular exercise, can help.
This year, our experts offered advice for staying healthy.
By Alicia Beltran
The holidays are upon us, and that means plenty of delicious temptations just begging to add calories to your diet. But you can keep yourself healthy and avoid post-holiday guilt by using these tips this holiday season.
Focus on portion size
Portion control can make a big difference in avoiding weight gain during the holidays and year-round. No matter what you're eating, be sure to eat small portions. This way, you get to taste everything without too much guilt. Try these tips:
- Choose turkey over ham. And, instead of eating three slices of turkey, have just one.
- Pause between bites, and stop when you are satisfied. Don't overeat. Instead, savor small amounts of each dish.
- If you know you have a dinner party that night, choose a healthy light breakfast like oatmeal or toast and a light lunch like a salad and half a sandwich.
- In between meals, eat healthy snacks such as fruit or sliced vegetables.
- Having a brunch celebration? Eat a light dinner, such as a salad.
By Sara Farris
When Devon Davis was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2011, his focus was to beat his cancer. What the 13-year-old didn't expect were the side effects he would experience as a result of treatment, including weight gain.
Davis is among many young cancer patients and survivors who experience changes in appetite and eating habits as a result of therapies they receive. Studies have shown that more than one-third of childhood cancer survivors are overweight or obese.
"When we recognized this trend in our survivors, we realized we had to do something to intervene while they were still active patients," says Joya Chandra, Ph.D., associate professor at MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital and director of its ON (Optimizing Nutrition) to Life Program. "Now we are studying a variety of interventions, from nutritional counseling to educational video games, to see what methods will help our patients best."
More than 300 healthy recipes
One idea that came out of the ON to Life Program was the need for a cookbook of healthy recipes that families could easily make. Last week, the @TheTable Cookbook was launched with more than 300 nutritious recipes for cancer patients and healthy families.
By Adelina Espat and Laura Nathan-Garner
Raising children to become happy, healthy adults is important. But how can you ensure that their bodies remain strong enough to prevent diseases like cancer?
One way is by encouraging children to exercise every day. Staying active can help them maintain a healthy weight and lower their chances of developing diseases like cancer as adults.
As soon as your children can walk, they should be up and moving. Kids younger than 6 should enjoy natural, daily physical activity like running, jumping and skipping. Kids ages 6-17 should exercise at an intensity high enough to raise their heart rate for at least 60 minutes a day, five days a week.
Have a couch-potato kid? Try these tips to get your kid moving:
By Desiree Jones, Ph.D.
Can our nutritional choices measurably help prevent certain cancers?
Over the last three decades, researchers have gathered substantial evidence to answer that question with a definite "Yes."
Different types of cancer are dominant in different parts of the world. However, one glance at the map, regarding estimated breast cancer incidence worldwide, indicates clearly that developed areas of the world (North America, Western Europe, Australia, and parts of South America) bear the brunt of certain cancers, like breast.
Ironically, research also indicates that cancers like prostate, colon and pancreatic are predominant in those parts of the world as well.
Further, data suggest that people who migrate from developing to developed nations experience a dramatic increase in rates of chronic diseases, including cancer, after just one generation in the adopted country.
Why is this?
Walter Willett, M.D., chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health has spent nearly a lifetime investigating the relationship between nutrition and chronic diseases.
Planning a summer barbecue? Before you fire up, beware.
Convincing research shows that many meats traditionally served at barbecues may increase your risk for colorectal cancer. And, even some 'safer' meats can expose you to cancer-causing agents if they're cooked improperly.
But don't cancel your barbecue plans just yet. We've listed some of our top tips to give your next grilling event a healthy makeover.
Following these tips may help ensure you continue to enjoy grilling for many summers to come.
By Lura Lumsden, health education specialist, Patient Education Office - The Learning Center
Growing up in a small town in Virginia, I always had a huge vegetable garden, so eating healthy was easy. When I went to college, my diet changed. With my main focus on studying, I rarely cooked and often opted for quick meals that weren't always the healthiest option.
Since I began working at MD Anderson in The Learning Center, I've tried to live a healthier lifestyle. Good nutrition has become a priority, and I pay close attention to what my family eats. To ensure that we eat more fruits and vegetables, I prep all of the produce when I get home from the grocery store. I wash, cut and store it in the fridge so that I can grab and go.
What we offer
The Learning Center offers free information at all levels -- from very basic materials all the way to physician-level resources.
Although many of the cookbooks in The Learning Center are cancer-specific, the recipes are for anyone who wants to eat healthier.
Our Nutrition Pathfinder is a condensed list of reliable resources including books, cookbooks, videos, brochures and periodicals. Patients and family members are encouraged to use our email reference service to send us their questions.
Contact us at email@example.com.
Nutrition for patients
Proper nutrition is important for people who have cancer. The disease and treatment can cause changes in appetite. If you are experiencing changes in appetite or difficulty eating you should speak with a dietitian. At MD Anderson, every patient has access to a dietitian, so ask your doctor for a referral.
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