July 10, 2021
The National Cancer Institute predicts that almost 40% of the population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. With that statistic in mind, what can you do? What nutritional practices will help reduce your risk of getting cancer? In this show, we’ll cover facts about sugar, how it relates to cancer, and what you can do to decrease your risk.
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TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Today, we will be doing discussing a very serious health problem that approximately 40%, well actually 39 and a half percent of the U.S. population will face some time in their life. Well, now that I have your attention, you're probably wondering, “What is this health problem?” Well, it's cancer. When people hear the diagnosis, “You have cancer”, fear and panic pulse through their body. It's a scary diagnosis. The National Cancer Institute predicts that almost 40% of men and women at some point in their lifetime will be diagnosed with cancer. If you do not want to be a part of that 40% of those who get cancer, what can you do? What nutritional practices will help you reduce your risk of getting cancer? Perhaps many of you have already asked yourself that question. Maybe you had a mother, a father, or a spouse die of cancer. You may wonder, “What should I be doing to reduce my risk of getting cancer? Should I be eating differently? Should I stop smoking? Should I give up alcohol? Should I step on the scale more frequently to keep my weight in check? Should I be checking my blood sugar numbers and maybe keeping my A1C at 5.7% or less?” You know, these are all very good questions and we hope to answer all of these questions and maybe some more information with you today as we discuss the sugar connection to cancer. I am Teresa Wagner, a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, and Melanie Beasley, also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, is joining me this morning in studio. On previous Dishing Up Nutrition shows, Melanie has shared her journey through breast cancer. So it's one thing for a dietitian like me to talk about the nutrition connection to cancer, but it's much more meaningful when a dietitian who has actually experienced cancer is willing to share their story. Okay, Melanie, I'm turning the mic over to you.
MELANIE: Well, I wouldn't say I'm necessarily the expert on cancer, but, you know, circling back to what you said about when you get that phone call, it says you have cancer. It's I felt like, are you kidding me? Like, I'm a dietitian. I'm healthy. I work out. I'm very fit. And friends would say, "I can't believe you got cancer." So, you know, all of us are at risk. So if you're asking yourself, am I at risk? I really think in this day and age, everyone has to take your risk seriously, whether or not it's genetic, which mine wasn't, but both my sister and I ended up with an estrogen positive cancer. So looking back, knowing what I know now, because I dug into a ton of research, just because I wanted to be able to help my clients going through this similar diagnosis, which is so horrible. Looking back, I can say I was definitely eating low fat for decades because that's what we knew as dietitians.
TERESA: That's what we were taught was the healthy way to eat.
MELANIE: The healthy way to eat was very low fat and calories in calories out are what mattered rather than quality in, quality out. So I was eating low fat. I was eating processed foods. Remember SnackWell's? We all ate the whole box. Lots of sugary treats and I, I lived on diet soda; Diet Dr. Pepper to be exact; started the day and did the day with my Diet Dr. Pepper. I developed a series of other symptoms that was related to a combination of estrogen dominance. I had terrible hormone migraines. I had, you know, ended up with a hysterectomy because I was having so much estrogen dominance symptoms. So that being said, all of that circled back to the way I was eating. And I was just kind of the perfect storm to develop cancer. And in 2005, two weeks after my back surgery, I got a phone call that I had breast cancer. So that makes you feel a little bit like you're in a dinghy and the ocean of, of medicine is taking you wherever you need to go to kind of survive. But after that, I really began eating real food because you do research or we're both researchers and you dig into it. You're going to figure it out. And I started recognizing how real food, organic food, lots of vegetables really really matter. And I can say I wasn't doing that previously. And that was 2005. And I like to tell my clients, I'm still here.
TERESA: Yes, you are. Yes, you are. It's such an incredible story. And I think that anybody who has gone through that cancer journey, it is it's an a, it is, it's always seems to be an incredible story, you know, and just gives you, it gives you chills to think of, you know, what could have been, right?
TERESA: Well, today we want to help you understand the sugar and processed carb connection to cancer. Surprise, surprise, right; that we're going to be talking about sugar. Much of the research has not yet though found a direct connection of sugar and processed carbs to cancer. Isn't that interesting?
MELANIE: That's interesting. I, I questioned it.
TERESA: Right. You know, yes, I did a double-take too, you know, when it's like, it's not conclusive. But research has found a connection on how sugar and processed carbs affect insulin resistance and obesity. The Mayo Clinic reports that there is more research needed to find the direct connection between sugar and cancer. So we'll talk about why that, that, I threw in the insulin resistance and obesity statement in there as we're going through this show today. But the Mayo Clinic, they explained that there are, you know, as far as sugar is concerned, there are all kinds of cells, including the cancer cells that depend on blood sugar or glucose for energy. Our cells do use sugar to run themselves. But at this time, research has found that more sugar, giving more sugar or directly feeding cancer cells sugar does not necessarily make the cancer cells grow faster. Or depriving those cancer cells, the sugar does not necessarily make them grow slower.
MELANIE: So I also questioned who's funding the research? Is it, the sugar industry is also, I'm not saying this is the case, but they fund a lot of research. And, as to, you know, you have to look at who's funding that research, and what do the statistics say about how people are eating and who gets cancer? And get sort of a mile high above it. As my husband always tells me, you get a mile high above it and you look down and you say, all right, well, this person, these groups of people eats this way and the cancer rate is very high and in this group of people eats this way and the cancel rate is very low. I remember as a child, we didn't know people that had cancer. And ask yourselves listeners, how many people do you know, that cancer has touched their lives or your life perhaps? So it, it really matters. But however research has found that consuming large amounts of sugar is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers, especially esophageal cancer. So as you've just heard, there is conflicting research. It can be really confusing. And in that relationship to sugar and cancer, that connection I feel is very strong. But if you dig into the research, you may see there's confliction. It can be confusing. So let's review. The first is that sugar does not have a real connection to cancer. The second thought is that sugar can increase cancer risk for certain cancers. Is everybody confused who’s listening out there right now? Well, to be on the safe side, don't we all want to be on the safe side? I would definitely limit or eliminate your sugar intake. The American Heart Association says no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day in our diet for heart health. Well, to put this into perspective, a 12 ounce bottle of soda, 65 grams of carbohydrates, which is 16 teaspoons of added sugar. So that soda’s out. A small mocha Frappuccino contains over 10 teaspoons of sugar. So let's get rid of the soda. Let's get rid of the sugary coffee drinks. A bakery blueberry muffin has between 14 and 20 teaspoons of sugar. Well, you’re just thinking to yourself, I had a muffin and I drink black coffee. Well there you go. So when we talk about bakery goods, probably a poor choice to prevent cancer for your breakfast. That being said, it really is quite clear that making better food choices is the safer route to take whether you have cancer and you're trying to prevent it coming back and metastasizing, or you're trying to prevent it. Aren't we all trying to prevent it?
TERESA: Yes, we are. I hope so. Much of the research has conflicting results just like Mel has just explained. Some of the research is saying that eating sugar is not a risk factor for cancer, while other research is saying that eating sugar is risky behavior. So Mel and I are going to dig a little deeper pertaining to the connection between sugar and cancer. What we do know though is that there is definitely a connection between insulin resistance and obesity, type two diabetes and cancer.
MELANIE: Definitely a risk. Let's talk more about that when we come back from break. So we'll be right back.
MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I want to share an interesting quote with you: “Sugar gave rise to the slave trade. Now sugar has enslaved us.” And that's a quote from Jeff O'Connell. He's the author of Sugar Nation. So circling back to research; researchers have from the Harvard Medical School reported that up to 80% of human cancers are driven by glucose, sugar, and insulin. Later, we want to discuss the fact that sugar is cancer's favorite food. So stay tuned. And, you're going to learn more about a good prevention measure to reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet, because it can be so difficult if you're addicted.
TERESA: Yes, absolutely. And we find people, they actually experience what we call the sugar flu, right, where when you start to eliminate it, you don't feel very good. And the thing that make you feel good again is, is sugar. And it is similar to kind of the feeling of having the flu. So, so there are definitely addictive properties to sugar. And we are talking about the sugar connection to cancer this morning. Are you aware that cancer rates have actually increased dramatically in the last 100 years, and almost 40% of the American population has been affected?
TERESA: Also, do you realize that research has repeatedly shown that 95% of cancer causes or the causes of cancer are directly related to diet and lifestyle choices?
MELANIE: So it sounds like you're saying we have some control.
TERESA: Yes we do.
MELANIE: And isn't that a wonderful feeling listeners, that you do have some control? It's, you're not just a sitting duck, you know, waiting. So we know cancer rates have drastically increased in the past 75 years. And there has been about a 25% increase in the rate of cancer. Conventional treatment for cancer continues to rely on chemotherapy, surgery and radiation to attack those cancer cells. Yet research has repeatedly shown that 95% of cancers are directly linked to diet and lifestyle habits. So they got to work together. We have to work together with the medical community, our diet and our lifestyle habits that we're doing. And yes, I said 95% of cancer is directly related to diet and lifestyle. A great example of this is a reduction of lung cancer when you decrease in smoking. So again, your lifestyle choices matter.
TERESA: Right; another example that I think that we know as obvious is, you know, being out in the sun without sunscreen or any sort of protection, and that we do that
over time, that that skin cancer can develop.
MELANIE: Good point.
TERESA: You know, so we know that, that there are lots of lifestyle things that we can do. And so we focus on the diet side of things more often. But I like what you said, as far as that statistic of 95% of cancer is directly related to diet and lifestyle, which gives us the power to control our destiny. So I love that. To date, there are no randomized controlled trials showing that sugar causes cancer. And those randomized control studies; those are the gold standard of, of studies of research. The thing about diet studies is that they are very difficult to conduct. And so in that difficulty, it may be hard to ever prove this connection.
MELANIE: That's a really good point because if you just, if our listeners just think about, you're trying to do something really perfect when you're given a diet plan and how perfect are you? So that's the people that are in these studies, like how perfect are they? When are they really doing a hundred percent of what they have to do to make the research a hundred percent accurate?
TERESA: Right. And then also it depends a lot on diet recall. And so if somebody would say to you, well, what have you eaten over the last 10 years? I can't remember what I've eaten a week ago. And so to make, to, to make those, it's not that they're not good studies. It’s that they're very difficult to conduct.
MELANIE: There's human error.
TERESA: Exactly. And there's lots of room for human error because we eat what we eat changes. The amount that we eat changes. Things change with the season. You know, so there is so much variability in those studies. So, but we do know there is an indirect link between sugar, insulin resistance, obesity, and cancer. When we eat excess amounts of sugar and processed carbs, our blood sugar level goes up and that's in everybody, you know, when we eat sugar, our blood sugar levels go up. It's perfectly natural. When we have excess sugar, our blood sugars go up high and the pancreas releases excess insulin to balance or to control our blood sugar level. The more sugar or glucose in our blood, the more insulin is released, which over time can lead to the development of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to easy weight gain and obesity.
MELANIE: Well, and that weight gain, being overweight or rather carrying around that extra body fat may also increase your risk of developing cancer. So losing that extra weight could reduce your risk. And here's why: extra body fat can send out signals to your cells to divide more often, which could lead to cancer cells developing.
TERESA: Right. And when, we really probably haven't talked about cell division on our radio show, and certainly we're not going to turn this into a biology class, but our cells are dividing all the time and this makes life possible. Basically it makes living things grow. It also creates new cells to replace older damaged cells. So if you think about your skin and when you get dry skin, you know how your skin gets flaky on top, well, that's your dead cells. They remove themselves. And then we replace them with healthy skin cells. So with cancer, it increases the rate of how fast your cells are dividing, which leaves room for more error in that division.
MELANIE: And there's also more inflammation in a body that contains more fat cells and inflammation puts your body at risk for disease. So these fat cells increase inflammation and can lead to increase in extra hormones and growth factors. The extra hormones, growth factors and inflammation can in turn cause cells to divide more often, which then we have that error. It increases the chance of cancer cells being made. Because when you have error in a cell being made, that's the beginning of a tumor if the body can't correct it because it's happening too rapidly. So this continual dividing of cells can lead to tumors.
TERESA: Additionally, when women reach menopause and their ovaries stop producing estrogen, the fat cells, they continue to produce estrogen, but a more harmful form of estrogen called estrone. This type of estrogen can make the cells in the breast and in the womb divide more often, increasing the risk for developing cancer. Bottom line, it is better from a cancer risk point of view to avoid extra weight. So as dietitians, we know a large percent of Americans have gained weight from eating too much sugar, too many processed carbs for too long. A new model for cancer prevention is emerging that calls for a lower processed carb diet with more good fats to help reduce those glucose levels and to support weight loss.
MELANIE: So when you you're talking processed carb, lower processed carb diet, what are you saying?
TERESA: I'm saying foods like bread, pasta, crackers, granola bars, cereals.
MELANIE: Things that come out of a package instead of a farm.
TERESA: Exactly. Right.
TERESA: Yep. Exactly. What we want is to eat a real food diet of vegetables with grass fed meats, wild caught fish, and, you know, pasture raised eggs; those types of foods. And on that note, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today, Mel and I are sharing the concerning facts about sugar and how they relate to cancer. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that in the U.S., consumption of high fructose corn syrup increased 1000% between 1970 and 1990. So beyond being a dietitian, I'm also a mother of three young children. So this next statistic caught my attention. The average child under the age of 12 consumes 49 pounds of sugar each year. Yes, I said 49 pounds of sugar each year. That is near, that is an average of nearly 30 teaspoons each and every day. The average American kid eats more sugar in one day than our answers ancestors did in two years.
TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. It surprised many that sugar hides in so many places. Of course candy and soda are kind of obvious. Those are sugar packed foods, but what about the low fat yogurt topped with granola that you had for breakfast? You're thinking, oh, had some yogurt feeling really healthy. Well, let's look at the label. 55 grams of carbs or 14 teaspoons of added sugar in what you thought was a healthy breakfast. So here's another food that the marketers have used to consume, used to help confuse us or mislead us. Well, what about agave nectar, which is marketed as a healthy sugar? Sad to say, but it is not so healthy. It tastes delicious, but agave nectar or agave syrup is actually higher in fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Wow. The Glycemic Research Institute has a warning about the dangers of agave nectar. Because of the effects on our blood sugar, the combination of eating processed foods along with added sugar in foods are some of the reasons that in the…
TERESA: That’s in the 1700s I believe.
MELANIE: I think it's the 1700s that people ate only four pounds of sugar a year. And by the 1900s, the adults ate a hundred pounds of sugar a year. So that's quite a difference.
TERESA: A 96 pound increase.
MELANIE: A 96 pound increase. That's crazy. And today, most adults eat 153 pounds of sugar each year. So ask yourself what has happened to the cancer rates since the 1700s?
TERESA: Well, I think we know to some degree, you know, as far as what we're talking about today. A 96 pound increase in sugar is certainly a significant change.
MELANIE: Well, and I was saying to you, I mean, you're younger than me, but when I was a child, I didn't know any parents or friends of parents or kids that had cancer.
MELANIE: I didn't even know what cancer was, I think until I was in my teen years.
MELANIE: I, I am that old.
TERESA: This is the reason why I feel like I might be in the same boat as you guys cause I can't think of something either. That might not be that it's true or accurate, but I don't remember it being like, I, like, I know right now, like my kids experience right now.
MELANIE: My children experience it with their friends. Yeah.
TERESA: Yeah. Well, before break, we were talking about this new model for cancer prevention that is emerging. And basically that new model is a lower sugar, lower processed carb, focusing on real food. So foods made by nature, and those foods being things like grass fed meats, wild caught fish; using good oils, such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and butter, and avoid using refined manmade oils. The types we've talked about often, but I think it's worth repeating: soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, and cottonseed oil. When you cook your meals at home, it's safer for you because you have control over the oils you're eating because in so many restaurant foods really the cheap and easy oil to use in the restaurant are those refined oils.
MELANIE: And what do you think about peanut oil?
TERESA: I use it sparingly and only if it's expeller pressed.
MELANIE: Only if it's expeller pressed. So there are a lot of other oils that are finding their way into our food. And they're, if they're processed, if they don't say expeller pressed, like sunflower oil or safflower oil, you got to watch out for those two. Those are sneaking into our food supply. And listeners, as Teresa mentioned, thus far, there has not been a randomized controlled trials showing that sugar causes cancer. However, here's another indirect link. When people eat an excess amount of processed carbs or sugar for their own individual body, they end up with higher glucose levels, which calls for the pancreas to produce extra insulin. And that insulin balances out those blood sugar levels. Well over time, higher insulin levels lead to insulin resistance. And this is just where the cells are just not receptive anymore. They’ve turned a deaf ear to insulin. So, and that leads to weight gain, inflammation, and in turn will then lead to more rapid cell division. And we talked about how that's a dangerous situation. Insulin resistance can also lead to being hungry all the time. Is anybody, anybody feel like that out there? Which can lead to excess eating and weight gain. So just to recap, excess sugar equals excess insulin. Excess insulin equals excess body fat. Excess body fat equals inflammation and rapid cell division, which equals an increased risk of cancer. So indirect, but definitely there.
TERESA: Eating extra processed carbs and sugar can also lead to insulin resistance and then to prediabetes and finally to type two diabetes. And according to well-established research, type two diabetes, belly fat and obesity are all linked to a higher risk for cancer. From our own clinical observations, many people do not realize how much sugar and processed carbs they're actually eating on a daily basis. It is just so a part of our diet. And I think part of it is because when we were kids and we had the food guide pyramid, the base of the pyramid was the starches and the, and the breads and pastas and rice. And we were, we were told that a healthy diet had six to 11 servings of those foods and that didn't even include fruits and vegetables that also contain carbohydrates. So, I mean, it's just, it's really hard to recognize in your own diet, how much carb is actually there, particularly the processed carbs that are the ones that we would like you to work on avoiding.
MELANIE: So if that food pyramid is still echoing in your brain, because that's what you had been taught, just throw it away.
TERESA: Right; it is no longer accurate. Well, let's go back to the sugar connection to cancer. It may be indirect, but diets higher in sugar and processed carbs, we call it the standard American diet, usually leads to insulin resistance, weight gain, and prediabetes, which is referred to as metabolic dysfunction.
MELANIE: I'm going to add one in there, which is fatty liver; non-alcoholic fatty liver. I'm going to throw that in there, so if you've been diagnosed with that, that's part of that metabolic dysfunction. So what is metabolic dysfunction? Well, it's associated with type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and at least 13 different types of cancer. So the most common obesity related cancers include breast, prostate and colorectal cancer. And this condition called metabolic dysfunction can lead to a dysregulation or an imbalance of a person's hormones. And that's where those hormone cancers come to play. It can impact the cancer pathways, causing tumors to grow faster with a greater risk of metastasizing or other way of saying that is spreading to other areas in your body.
TERESA: Besides all of that, metabolic dysfunction can lead to your immune system being suppressed, which increases your cancer risk. And you might be saying, “I'm not overweight. So I don't need to worry about having metabolic dysfunction.” Well, that's not necessarily true. It all depends on where you carry any extra weight. You know, sometimes we find that women who are big wine drinkers, which has been something that has been increased I would say over the last year or so with the onset of COVID, you know, it's just been one of those things. You could be around your house and, and it brought some sort of structure to your day. It was like, we're all staying home all the time. So at five o'clock it was like, okay, now it's time for a glass of wine and I can relax, you know?
MELANIE: Yeah, so are you saying that the people that just have like a vodka tonic or if that's okay?
TERESA: No, actually. I'm not saying that's okay.
MELANIE: I didn’t think you were. But I just didn't want anyone thinking, “Hey, if I'm not having wine, I'll just switch to my vodka tonic.”
TERESA: Yeah. Nope. It's any of the alcohol really. And I think that they say for women, if you have one glass of wine or one alcoholic drink, it increases the estrogen in your body significantly. I don't know how much it is, but there's an increase in estrogen because of that alcohol is present. Which we know that with estrogen related cancers, so this is not an ideal situation. So yes, even that one glass of wine can increase your risk for cancer. So…
TERESA: And we find that those women, they sometimes struggle with carrying extra body weight around the middle, which is not ideal. I mean, extra body weight anywhere isn't ideal. But, for health reasons, we don't like it. For aesthetic reasons, we don't like carrying weight around the middle. So this can lead to a higher risk of cancer with having that, that belly fat or even, you know, you're talking about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which that comes from eating too much sugar, but certainly having too much alcohol can lead to liver to fatty liver.
MELANIE: Exactly. Listeners ask yourself does eating too much sugar and too many processed carbs or alcohol for your body put you at risk for developing cancer? Only your cells know that, but to be on the safe side, let's look at the sunny side for a while. Start looking at your glucose numbers on your medical tests. Pull it out. Look at your fasting blood sugar. Is it under a hundred? Keep your fasting glucose number below 100 and keep your A1C number at 5.6 or lower. So I'm going to repeat that in case you're scrambling for a pen. Keep your fasting blood sugar under a hundred. Keep your A1C number at 5.6 or lower. And we often find that when our clients focus on their blood sugar number and remove the sugar or processed carbs, and those refined oils from their diet, their body loses weight. It's just magic. Maybe it's only two pounds a month, but in a year they've lost 25 pounds. And in two years they've lost 50 pounds and they feel healthier, which really is the key and have much more energy, less inflammation. It's a win-win.
TERESA: Right. And I find that when people are focusing more on their blood sugar numbers, and people can do this, you know, you can go to any of the drug stores around and grab a glucometer and test your blood sugar. That is not something that you have to get from your doctor.
MELANIE: Amazon: you can get it on Amazon.
TERESA: Amazon; yep. And you, you know, the strips are usually the thing that's the more expensive than buying the glucometer. But what I find is that when we shift our focus away from the food, well, I should say indirectly, if we're using that as another term here is when you shift your focus away from the food and what the food actually does in your body, and you get an immediate result by taking your blood sugar.
MELANIE: So satisfying.
TERESA: It's so satisfying and motivating. And I always say success tastes good.
So when you're being successful and you're, those vegetables, all of a sudden, they become much more tasty, it's, it's amazing how, what you desire changes based on the success you're having. And when you do that, that blood sugar reading regularly, you get that immediate feedback. The scale doesn't work as fast, but that blood sugar level, you know, we can really, we can really get an immediate result.
TERESA: Well, you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you have well, pretty, pretty much any health problem, whether it's cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular problems, or obesity, the dietitians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness believe the most important nutrition therapy you should focus on is blood sugar and insulin control. We understand that controlling your sugar cravings is the first step in reducing your sugar consumption. We have a plan that has been proven time and time again to successfully help our clients give up sugar and help them control their sugar cravings and their glucose levels. If our plan was successful to help them, it can be successful in helping you too. If you have a chronic disease or heart condition or any of the other health problems I had just mentioned, the first step in any of these conditions is to set up a few appointments with one of our dietitians or nutritionists. Call us at (651) 699-3438 to get your appointment scheduled and we can get you started.
MELANIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. An important step to reducing the sugar in your diet is to cook your own meals in your own kitchen. If you say, “I need to develop some better cooking skills, I suggest you take Weight and Wellness virtual cooking class. Join our nutrition educator and culinary expert, Marianne, as she shows you how to cook heart-healthy meals. That's on Tuesday, July 20th or Thursday, July 22nd. These cooking classes are taught through a secure, secure Zoom format. And the cost is only $25. So I want to share a comment from a participant in Marianne's last class. She says, “Marianne has so many useful tips and suggestions, lots of useful info, plus she is fun to listen to and to watch. It's a great fun class. It inspires me to cook better meals for my family.” What a great quote. Want to join in on Marianne's next cooking class? You can call 651-699-3438 and sign up. It's so much fun. And you're going to feel like you've got those skills to make those healthy, delicious cancer prevention meals.
TERESA: Yes. I sat in, excuse me. I sat in on her last class, Zoom class, and it was a farmer's market focus and using those vegetables from the farmer's market. And it was so fun just to watch her cause she is so natural in the kitchen. I mean, first of all, having a camera on you usually makes you kind of unnatural, but nope, it just looked like she was perfectly natural in front of everyone. And it was really great because that class paired so well with the last Dishing Up Nutrition radio show that we did last week on using vegetables from the farmer's market.
MELANIE: Perfect. Yeah. We see the vegetables. We know we should eat the vegetables, but sometimes what to do with the vegetables to make them tasty. Marianne pulls it all together.
TERESA: Yes. And it gives you suggestion for some of the vegetables that you, maybe you don't, you're not familiar with. And so in, in the theme of cancer prevention, we know that the best foods for cancer prevention are vegetables really. I mean, they've got all those properties to those vegetables that work synergistically together. So it's not just popping vitamins and minerals, although that can be a part of that, but just those, those nutrients that are in food that you, that probably we don't even know quite yet, all the different, all the different aspects to how those foods are so healthy for our bodies. But you know, they're talking about kohlrabi and buying, you know, the Brussels sprouts on the stalk and all these fun things that you can get at the farmer's market. I mean, it's just really inspiring. And those are the foods that we really need to focus on. If we can make it fun, then it isn't the drudgery of oh, I have to eat my vegetables or I have to figure out how to get my vegetables in. And it makes it just more of an experience. You'd go to the farmer's market. You find those fresh vegetables, you figure out a way to cook them. And we are so lucky in this day and age where, I mean YouTube and Google.
MELANIE: There's so much help.
TERESA: There’s so much help out there.
MELANIE: And so my challenge for our listeners this week is if you've been eating the same vegetables, maybe it's green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, I challenge you to go to the grocery store, the farmer's market and pick a vegetable that you have never seen before. Maybe it's kohlrabi, maybe it's jicama. And I want you to purchase it, go home, YouTube what to do with it and try it because we need a variety of all of those bioflavonoids, I mean, enzymes. We need a variety. So if you're a stuck on the same vegetable all the time, that's my challenge. But I want to circle back to what you were saying about the glucometer and checking blood sugar, because I had a client and we worked together for, oh gosh, about a year. And we could not find what worked for her.
Her cravings were just off the chart. And so we ended up, I told her, you can eat as much real food as you want, but we limited, and I said, as much real food as you want. So she was not limited in her portion size. She was limited in what she chose. It had to come from the farmer's field, barn or the streams. Okay. So she did that. She took that challenge and her cravings went away and she said, “Melanie, I just miss my popcorn.” You know? So she, I said, well, how about once a month, you go ahead and have that popcorn. And she was testing her blood sugars. So I said, I want you to test your blood sugar before you have your popcorn and test it two hours after you have your popcorn. So she did and sure enough, her blood sugar was much higher than it had ever been two hours after her bowl, big bowl of popcorn. But more importantly, she said for two days, her joints hurt so badly. She said, “I can't believe my popcorn just turned on me like that.”
TERESA: Right. Yeah. And I wonder if her cravings went up as well, since she was struggling with cravings.
MELANIE: She did. For the next two days she had cravings. So, you know, I'm sure you tell your clients, I tell my clients, “If you decide to indulge in something and you’re a real food eater, then set your, you're setting yourself up for two days of cravings. So you just need to be aware of that; not to say you're never going to do that, but be aware you'll have cravings for two days. You've got to get on top of those because they'll just continue.
TERESA: Yes. And then, and then you can prepare for it and you can. Yeah. You know, and that's a way of bringing some balance into your life where, you know, sometimes in life you do indulge.
MELANIE: You do.
TERESA: And, and then if you know, you're going to have those cravings, you can prepare for it to make sure that you have lots of food available at your house so that you can snack on that jicama or watermelon or, you know, grass fed beef stick or something along that line.
MELANIE: So when we're talking about what can you do, what are some things that we can do that you feel good about cancer prevention? So we talked at break about moving your body; so important.
TERESA: Yes. And research does say that for cancer prevention exercise is very important. And what they recommend is 200 minutes of exercise a week, which breaks down into about 30 minutes of exercise a day. Now this doesn't mean that you have to go to the gym and do a strenuous workout. This is movement. And I always tell people the right exercise for you is the exercise that you will do.
TERESA: So if it's walking great. If it's yoga, great. If it's running, great. If it's CrossFit, great. Whatever you like to do and brings enjoyment and puts that spark in you to get it done.
MELANIE: Yes. My daughter is swing dancing.
TERESA: Oh, nice; how fun.
MELANIE: The only thing that really clicked for her is swing dancing. So for you, it might be anything. It might be vacuuming. It might be turning on a YouTube music video and dancing around your house. But 30 minutes has been shown to be extremely beneficial for detoxing. Now, food. What are you eating? Ask yourself. What did I have for breakfast? Was it a cancer prevention meal? Did you include vegetables? Maybe an omelet with some grass fed sausage or beef or a hamburger patty. And then an omelet with some veggies.
MELANIE: And there you go. You've done it. Simple; easy peasy. Eggs are my go-to when I feel lazy.
TERESA: Right. Or I hear you put cauliflower in your protein shakes?
MELANIE: I do. I make a protein shake. My protein shake would scare a lot of our listeners, but because I'm putting two cups of vegetables in there. But I started with cauliflower and spinach because you don't taste them: the frozen cauliflower. Add a scoop of your protein powder and a little healthy fat, maybe a tablespoon of peanut butter or a little coconut milk. And blend it up. I put it with ice. I put in, in one of my little thermalized containers. So it looks like I'm just having my coffee or water. And, I'm getting, I'm starting my day with two cups of vegetables. So I, I challenge you. Even if you start with a quarter cup of frozen vegetables in your smoothie, it makes a big difference. And, you know, once in a while I get too much in there, I'm like, oh, that's a little too earthy, but I still put it down and then just learn as we go. But you feel a little righteous when you start your morning with two cups of vegetables.
TERESA: And really what we know is for cancer prevention, we also want to have five to nine servings of vegetables a day. And it's really hard do if you don't start right away with your first meal of the day, because you're losing that, that eating opportunity for those vegetables. So…
MELANIE: And you want those that you want the powerhouse vegetables and the antioxidants and the bioflavonoids working for you all day. So to try to have four cups of salad at dinner, you want it working for your body all day.
TERESA: Our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us and have a wonderful.