- Breakfast: Add fruit and a few seeds or nuts to your whole grain breakfast cereal (oatmeal!).
- Lunch: Eat a big salad filled with your favorite beans and peas or other combo of veggies. Always order lettuce and tomato (plus any other veggies you can!) on your sandwiches. Order whole grain bread for your sandwiches. Have a side of veggies like cut up carrots, sauerkraut or a piece of fruit.
- Snacks: fresh fruit and vegetables. Grab an apple or banana on your way out the door. Raw veggies such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, jicama, peppers, etc. are great with a low-fat dip such as hummus. Keep trail mix made with nuts, seeds and a little dried fruit on hand.
- Dinner: Add fresh or frozen veggies to your favorite pasta sauce or rice dish. Top a baked potato with broccoli and yogurt, sautéed veggies, or with salsa. Replace creamy pasta sauces, with sautéed vegetables or tomato sauce made with healthy olive oil.
- Dessert: Choose fruit instead of a richer dessert. Or a single square of dark chocolate.
nother benefit of eating plant-based foods is that it will also increase your fiber intake. Fiber, also called roughage or bulk, is the part of plants (grains, fruits, and vegetables) that your body can’t digest. Fiber plays a key role in keeping your digestive system clean and healthy. It helps keep food moving through your digestive tract, and it also moves cancer-causing compounds out before they can create harm.
Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In general, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber. There is no fiber in meat, dairy, sugar, or “white” foods like white bread, white rice, and pastries.
Simple ways to add more fiber to your diet:
- Use brown rice instead of white rice
- Substitute whole-grain bread for white bread
- Choose a bran muffin over a croissant or pastry
- Snack on popcorn instead of potato chips
- Eat fresh fruit such as a pear, a banana, or an apple (with the skin)
- Have a baked potato, including the skin, instead of mashed potatoes
- Enjoy fresh carrots, celery, or bell peppers with a hummus or salsa, instead of chips and a sour cream dip
- Use beans instead of ground meat in chili, casseroles, tacos, and even burgers (bean burgers taste great!)
Cancer prevention diet tip #4: Choose your fats wisely
A major benefit of cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is that you will automatically cut out a lot of unhealthy fat. Eating a diet high in fat increases your risk for many types of cancer. But cutting out fat entirely isn’t the answer, either. In fact, some types of fat may actually protect against cancer. The trick is to choose your fats wisely and eat them in moderation.
- Fats that increase cancer risk – The two most damaging fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Trans fats, also called partially hydrogenated oils, are created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid and less likely to spoil—which is very good for food manufacturers, and very bad for you.
- Fats that decrease cancer risk – The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant sources and are liquid at room temperature. Primary sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocados. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds.
Tips for choosing cancer-fighting fats and avoiding the bad
- Reduce your consumption of red meat, whole milk, butter, and eggs, as these are the primary source of saturated fats.
- Cook with olive oil instead of regular vegetable oil. Canola oil is another good choice, especially for baking.
- Check the ingredient liston food labels and avoid anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, which are usually found in stick margarines, shortenings, salad dressings, and other packaged foods.
- Trim the fatoffof meat when you do eat it, and avoid eating the skin of the chicken.
- Choose nonfat dairy products and eggs that have been fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Add nuts and seeds to cereal, salads, soups, or other dishes. Good choices include walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, and sesame seeds.
- Use flaxseed oil in smoothies, salad dressings, or mixed in snacks such as applesauce. But do not cook with flaxseed oil, as it loses its protective properties when heated.
- Limit fast food, fried foods, and packaged foods, which tend to be high in trans fats. This includes foods like potato chips, cookies, crackers, French fries, and doughnuts.
- Eat fish once or twice a week. Good choices include wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, and black cod. But be conscious of mercury, a contaminant found in many types of fish.