Diet and Cancer
An important part of Comprehensive Cancer Center’s patient and community outreach efforts include providing information designed to help people eat healthier foods. Diet is a significant factor in maintaining good health, and assisting in recovery during cancer treatment, as well as in helping the body do its best to prevent illness and disease. Healthy food provides the body with nutrients necessary for cellular growth, repair and maintenance.
Should a patient be in the practice’s care, good eating can prevent weight loss and malnutrition by proving the right amounts of food rich in calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Comprehensive’s doctor, nurses, and/or a registered dietitian are all there to help patients identify and follow nutrition goals during their courses of treatment.
Staying Informed About Food and Nutrition
To help provide smart insights about diet and nutrition, Comprehensive Cancer Centers stays informed by keeping up-to-date on new information about food and nutrition through science and research. One part of this puzzle is found by monitoring good resources such as the FDA’s Total Diet Study (TDS).
The Total Diet Study is an ongoing program that monitors levels of approximately 800 contaminants and nutrients in the average American’s diet. To conduct the study, the FDA buys, prepares, and analyzes about 280 kinds of foods and beverages from representative areas of the country, four times a year. The study is aimed at helping people eat well to live healthier lives, while lowering risk of illness and disease, such as cancer.
Using data, the FDA estimates how much of the contaminants and nutrients the entire U.S. population, some subpopulations, and each person consume annually, on average. Because eating patterns change over time, the FDA updates the list of foods to be analyzed about every 10 years. The list of food to be tested is revised to account for trends in what consumers eat, and how much of those foods’ consumers eat. FDA uses the TDS results to suggest potential areas of focus for our food-safety and nutrition programs.
With regard to health risks from diet, such as cancer, Comprehensive is always looking at the impact of diet, and how to assess diet and cancer risk. Part of this process comes from monitoring foods and beverages, as well as the nutrients and dietary constituents they contain, and how they are consumed together, as they are never eaten in isolation of one another.
Working to Improve Dietary Patterns Research
Every five years, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and NCI collaborate to update a dietary tool called the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). This is another tool which assesses how closely an eating pattern, or any set of foods in the food supply chain, aligns with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The most recent Dietary Guidelines reflect a shift toward focusing on total diet. For example, the guidelines now stress an overarching approach to diet, such as following a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan; eating a variety of foods, with a focus on nutrient density and amount; and limiting calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reducing sodium intake. Comprehensive considers these guidelines when selecting recipes to suggest.
Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help
Tools like Total Diet and HEI are all part of the process in looking at how nutrition affects people, and how to eat well to lower health risks and improve treatment outcomes. Both are important to the team at Comprehensive and will continue to inform how we work to help the community live long and healthy lives. We are proud to offer our patients access to a registered dietitian for guidance on how to maintain a diet tailored to their specific treatment plan. To learn more about diet and nutrition or to find our featured cancer fighting recipes, visit our website. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, schedule an appointment by calling 702-952-3350.
The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.