Food for Life: Cancer Project
Wilmington, NC 28403
More than four decades ago, the United States declared a "war on cancer," yet current statistics predict that during our lifetime, one in two men and one in three women will develop cancer. This amounts to 1.5 million people being diagnosed with cancer in the United States each year, and cancer causing nearly one-quarter of every death in America. Research has shown that more than one-third of all cancer deaths in the United States are due to poor diet, yet most are unaware of the connection.
Faced with these startling statistics, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine developed the Food for Life: Cancer Project curriculum to offer a new direction in battling this disease. The Food for Life: Cancer Project classes include information about how certain foods and nutrients work to promote or discourage cancer growth, along with demonstrations of simple recipes that can be easily re-created at home. The intended audience of the Food for Life: Cancer Project classes are cancer survivors and their family and friends, as well as those looking to prevent the disease.
These classes are not intended for individuals currently going through cancer treatment.
Class 1, February 12: Introduction to How Foods Fight Cancer
Certain diet patterns seem to have a major effect in helping people diagnosed with cancer live longer, healthier lives. The National Cancer Institute research shows that as much as 33% of cancer risk may be related to diet. In this class, you will learn about the right food choices that can help reduce the risk of developing cancer as well as prevent a recurrence.
Class 2, February 19: Fueling Up on Low-Fat, High-Fiber Foods
Dietary fat not only hinders the immune system, it also drives hormone production, which can mean higher rates of hormone-related cancers such as breast and prostate cancers. Fiber helps your body rid itself of toxins, waste hormones, excess cholesterol, chemicals, and other undesirables. It is especially important in helping the immune system function properly, as well as facilitating the removal of waste from the body. Without fiber in the diet, these excess compounds are often reabsorbed into the bloodstream, leading to a possible increased risk of cancer. Steering clear of meat, dairy products, fried foods, and other fatty fare is an important first step in preventing and surviving cancer. The easiest way to be healthy is to build your meals from foods that are naturally low in fat and to use cooking methods that do not require added fats or oils. In this class you will learn how to prepare delicious, low-fat dishes made from whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.
Class 3, February 26: Discovering Dairy and Meat Alternatives
When cancer researchers started to look for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat and dairy products were much less likely to develop the dis ease. Consuming dairy products causes worrisome biological changes in the body, including an increase in the amount of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the bloodstream. Scientific studies have shown elevated IGF-1 levels to be a catalyst for the growth of breast and prostate cancer cells. Meat is another food that may be linked to cancer and other illnesses. This link is in part due to the high-fat, high-iron, and fiber-free characteristics of meat compared with plant foods, as well as the formation of carcinogens when meats are cooked. These cancer-causing chemicals, called heterocyclic amines, tend to form within the meat tissue when exposed to high temperatures. In this class, you will explore a variety of vegetarian sources of protein, all of which are low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with cancer-fighting nutrients.
Class 4, March 5: Cancer-Fighting Compounds and Healthy Weight Control
Both antioxidants and the body's immune system are critically important in fighting cancer. Cancer-fighting compounds such as antioxidants, mainly found in fruits and vegetables, assist in halting free-radical damage, which can otherwise lead to cancer development. Healthy weight control is also essential for warding off a variety of chronic diseases. Studies have shown that slimmer people are less likely to develop cancer, compared with their heavier counterparts. Trimming excess weight may also improve survival after cancer has been diagnosed. In this class, the instructor will discuss and demonstrate healthful dish es loaded with immune-boosting nutrients such as beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamin C, and zinc-helping you learn how to easily and naturally maintain a healthy weight and a cancer-fighting nutritional regimen.