Healthy Eating Tips for the Summer Barbecue Season

As we head deeper into the summer barbecue season, experts at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) are encouraging healthy eating choices in order to decrease the risk of cancer. CINJ is making its experts available to discuss the role nutrition plays in the prevention of cancer as well as in the treatment of the disease.

Nutrition and Cancer Prevention:
While there are national nutritional guidelines relating to cancer prevention, the American Cancer Society notes the evidence concerning the relationship between nutrition and the treatment of a chronic disease like cancer is not definitive, because this area has not been fully researched. The American Dietetic Association is currently developing guidelines for the nutritional management of patients with cancer undergoing anticancer therapies. These guidelines will assist healthcare professionals to base nutrition treatment choices on the best available evidence.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, food-related choices that will help reduce the risk of some cancers include:

* Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods (particularly processed foods high in added sugar, or low in fiber, or high in fat).
* Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
* Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
* If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
* Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
* Don’t use supplements to protect against cancer.

At CINJ, patients can visit with a registered dietitian at any point during their diagnosis, treatment or follow-up. Nutrition counseling can occur during group nutrition lectures or in private sessions, which can be initiated by the patient, family or any member of the healthcare team. Individualized meal plans can be created based on a patient’s specific needs.

CINJ experts available for comment include:

Elisa Bandera, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist at CINJ and assistant professor of epidemiology at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the School of Public Health, is a leading researcher in diet and cancer prevention and can speak on the links between nutrition and cancer. Bandera is the vice-chair of the Cancer Prevention and Control Advisory Group of the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research and Chair of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Workgroup of the Task Force on Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment in New Jersey. She was also a member of the American Cancer Society 2006 Committee on Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Prevention. Furthermore, she is involved in the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Second Report on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer, which issued international dietary recommendations for cancer prevention.

Maureen Huhmann, D.C.N., R.D., C.S.O., is a clinical dietitian at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick and an assistant professor at the UMDNJ School of Health Related Professions. While her work at CINJ focuses on how nutrition complements a cancer patient’s treatment, she also often is called upon to lend her expertise to what role nutrition plays in the prevention of cancer. Dr. Huhmann was recognized in 2006 by the American Dietetic Association as the Young Dietitian of the Year for her work in nutritional care, and in the past year, she also was elected as the incoming chair of the Oncology Specialty group of the American Dietetic Association.

Source: Cancer Institute of New Jersey

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