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Saturday, December 02, 2023
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Nutrition racket

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables doesn't prevent cancer

There is always a new fad in healthy living. Not too long ago, red meat was horrendous for the public. Later, with the Atkins diet, red meat was bigger than ever.
Healthy eating fads change more than Facebook redesigns. For a very long time, many health experts believed that eating large quantities of fruits and vegetables had a sizable effect on cancer prevention.
Many Americans believed that those extra greens gulped down at dinner would keep cancer at bay – until now. A new study by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has found that the link between cancer risk reduction and consuming fruits and vegetables is far weaker then originally thought.
Many past studies have claimed that eating more healthy foods will reduce cancer risks by as much as 50 percent. Yet if it sounds too good to be true, it normally is. Recent studies have reduced this number to only around 4 percent. This is still a significant, though much more modest, number than previously estimated.
Many of these previous studies finding that fruits and vegetables having a tremendous effect on reducing cancer risks were skewed due to other unaccounted for variables.
According to Walter Willet, chairman of the Nutrition Department at the Harvard School of Public Health, said, "Earlier investigations were more likely to [survey] health-conscious people."
The reason why it's a significant find is that people who are generally healthier types are more likely to agree to be interviewed about their habits than their couch potato cousins.
Now, this doesn't give you a free pass to eat whatever you want. The most recent study only looked at the contributions fruits and vegetables make toward fighting cancer, disregarding their effects on other health issues. There is still sound evidence supporting the idea that eating fruits and vegetables decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
In fact, the most recent Mount Sinai study shows that eating five servings a day of fruits and vegetables decreases the chance of heart disease and stroke by 30 percent. It also shows that some vegetables, like tomatoes and broccoli, have nutrients that help prevent certain kinds of cancer.
Millions of Americans have known this for a long time. Eating healthy doesn't have to be hard and doesn't require cutting out whole sections of foods. The fact is, doing so makes the weight loss more difficult and can actually result in weight gain as these foods are reintroduced.
The key is moderation. Don't overindulge with anything; mix in some veggies with your meat. Stay away from fried or pan-seared food on a regular basis and you'll be eating healthier already.
Another major factor the study overlooks is exercise, which is a significant component to a healthy lifestyle. Many Americans overlook this factor by just saying eating healthy is enough – but it isn't.
Americans should incorporate some cardiovascular activity every day. And no, walking upstairs doesn't count. Hit the gym for 20 minutes and use the stationary bike or treadmill. Everyone has 20 minutes a day, most days, to work out.
A healthy lifestyle simply entails eating in the right proportions with a balanced diet and exercising. No gimmicks, no miracle pills. Fruits and vegetables actually can keep the doctor away.



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