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Wellness Chat: The Importance of Nutrition in Cancer Prevention

Friday, December 4, 2015

 

Conversations on Cancer is a new EWG series bringing you the latest news on cancer prevention through discussions with experts in the field. Today's guest: Jocelyn Weiss, Ph.D.

After a big Thanksgiving meal, with more holiday parties around the corner, food is on everyone’s mind. We know that a balanced diet and exercise are essential to a healthy life. But what exactly is a healthy diet?

U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines include eating more fruits and vegetables, limiting sugar and watching calories. These basic recommendations are a good start, but a healthy diet must also consider individual needs and goals.

Jocelyn Weiss, Ph.D., assistant director of clinical research at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York, answered our questions about the role nutrition plays in cancer prevention. Her website, An Unprocessed Life, is packed with information on healthy foods, advice and motivation for exercising and getting active. Its mission is "to empower others to take ownership of their health to prevent and reverse disease." She shared her thoughts on nutrition, cancer and the state of the science.

Please click on the question to read each answer.

EWG: An Unprocessed Life encapsulates your philosophy on food and lifestyle. Where did that philosophy come from and why is living an unprocessed life so important?

 

EWG: A healthy diet and physical activity can have tremendous health benefits, particularly for cardiovascular health. Are there also benefits when it comes to reducing cancer risks? How might those benefits compare to big players like genetics and smoking?

 

EWG: Are there specific foods or food properties that you would suggest anyone concerned about cancer seek out or avoid when they’re at the grocery store?

 

EWG: I hear a lot of advice for people to eat whole foods. Are there things you think people may mistakenly believe are whole foods? And are there any whole foods you would not include as part of a healthy diet?

 

EWG: Scientific research is so important for uncovering how disease works. In some cases we may know that something, such as obesity, is associated with cancer, but don’t fully understand why. What studies are still needed to help us understand how food, diet and exercise are associated with the development of cancer or other chronic diseases?>

 

EWG: What’s going to be on your holiday plate? Any recipes from your blog you would suggest for the holidays? 

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For healthy recipes and more information from Jocelyn Weiss, visit anuprocessedlife.com. To help you make healthy choices at the grocery store, check out EWG’s Food Scores and Dirty Dozen.

Our next conversation, coming in January, will be with Nicole Deziel, assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health, who'll discuss what household exposures can tell us about health.

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