As research hits the news, since I speak and write about this on a regular basis, people often contact me with questions ranging from the scientific and metabolic to those about practical implications. Today in Smart Bytes®, fresh from seeing colleagues at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, I’ll answer a few of those common questions on the diabetes-cancer connection.
In the last Smart Bytes® post I shared the “long and winding road” we’ve walked trying to figure out soy’s impact on breast cancer risk – one of the most frequently asked questions when I’m speaking about breast cancer. Once you get the general idea that moderate consumption of soy foods appears quite safe, even for women who have had estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer, a whole new batch of questions arises.
What is moderate consumption of soy foods? Where do the cereals, breads, and bars with added soy protein fit into this picture?
When I’m asked to speak about how diet and lifestyle impact breast cancer risk, whether I’m speaking to health professionals, cancer survivors or the general public, one of the most-asked questions involves the relationship of soy to breast cancer.
Is it protective? Is it a risk? Should breast cancer survivors avoid it? And what about the soy protein now added to cereals, bars, breads and meat substitutes?
Is exercise helpful for cancer survivors? Where is the research now?
Questions like these were the subject of my recent interview with an expert on physical activity in cancer survivors. Lee Jones, PhD, is Associate Professor, and Scientific Director of the Duke Center for Cancer Survivorship, at Duke University. He was at the annual conference of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, held in Philadelphia this year, to provide an update on cancer survivor research.
(Email subscribers, you’ll need to go to the Smart Bytes® blog to watch.)
The latest analysis of overall research on breast cancer risk and consumption of vegetables and fruits links greater consumption of vegetables and fruits with a modest decrease in breast cancer risk. Yet when considered separately, greater fruit consumption was tied to lower breast cancer risk, but eating more vegetables was not. What?!? Aren’t vegetables a major part of a diet to lower cancer risk?
Before you toss out the broccoli and carrot sticks and go load up on ice cream or fat-free cookies, let’s take a closer look at the details of this analysis and some other recent studies to see the big picture about what eating your vegetables may or may not have to do with your risk of breast cancer.