The Latest Diet Recommendations for Breast Cancer

The Latest Diet Recommendations for Breast Cancer
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women today. It is estimated that 1 in every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, equaling a quarter of a million women being diagnosed each year. As many of you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  In effort to raise the awareness of our EALM readers, we wanted to highlight the importance of diet and lifestyle, on not only your overall health, but also in relation to breast cancer.

1-in-8 Breast Cancer infographic
Photo courtesy of www.nationalbreastcancer.org

The Role of Diet and Lifestyle:

In a recent article featuring Mary Flynn, registered dietitian and co-author of the book “The Pink Ribbon Diet,” she states, “because the majority of breast cancer cases don’t have a genetic link, you have to conclude that lifestyle factors, including diet, play a large role.” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics takes a similar stance, stating that “while there is no certain way to prevent breast cancer, it has been found that leading a healthy lifestyle can help reduce your risk and boost your odds if you do get breast cancer.”

Risk Factors:

Highlighted below are the risk factors. However, we want to stress that if you find you fall under a few, or more than a few, of these categories it is important not to panic. If you are concerned, please talk with your doctor and follow the recommendations for when and how often to get mammograms. Here are risk factors provided by the Center for Disease Control:

  • Beginning your menstrual cycle before the age of 12
  • Starting menopause at a later than average age
  • Never giving birth
  • Not breastfeeding post-birth
  • Long-term use of hormone-replacement therapy
  • Family history of breast cancer
  • Previous radiation therapy to the breast/chest area, especially at a young age
  • Being overweight, especially in women of the postmenopausal age

What About Insulin?

An article written by Franco Berrino, et al., states that elevated serum insulin levels are associated with an increased risk of recurrence in breast cancer patients1. The authors also found each of the following to be associated with breast cancer incidence: high plasma levels of glucose (>110 mg/100 mL), high levels of triglycerides (>150 mg/100 mL), low levels of HDL cholesterol (<50 mg/100 mL), large waist circumference (>88 cm), and hypertension (SBP > 130 mmHg or DBP >85 mmHg). The article also states that those with both metabolic syndrome and breast cancer have the worst prognosis.1 In addition, recent research has shown significant positive associations between obesity and higher death rates for a number of cancers, including breast cancer2.
 

In other research, omega 3 fats (alpha-linolenic acid, EPA, DHA) have been shown in animal studies to protect from cancer, while omega 6 fats (linoleic acid, arachidonic acid) have been found to be cancer-promoting fatty acids. Flax seed oil and DHA (most beneficial from an algae source) can both be used to increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. DHA originating from a marine source was found to be the most efficient source. To learn more about fatty acids in your daily diet check out our blog post on Fatty Acids.2

breast cancer awareness ribbon

The Center for Disease Control’s and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ tips on how to help reduce your risk of breast cancer:

  • Get a minimum of 4 hours of exercise per week – aim for a minimum of 30 minutes most days of the week for optimal health. Some experts recommend yoga to breast cancer patients, as the practice of yoga can ease anxiety, depression, and stress.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages to 1 per day, or none at all
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight (a mid range), especially following menopause
  • Eat plenty of:
    • Dark, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale
    • Fruits: berries, cherries, citrus
    • Whole-grains: oats, barley, bulgur, whole-grain pastas, breads, cereals, crackers
    • Legumes: dried beans and peas, lentils, and soybeans
    • Researchers and medical professionals suggest that cancer survivors eat a variety of antioxidant-rich foods each day (since cancer survivors can be at an increased risk of developing new cancers).

Diet and Yoga and Decreasing Stress:

Regardless of whether you are an individual with breast cancer, in remission from breast cancer, or woman trying to reduce your risk, the message is to maintain an active life while consuming a largely plant based diet with a focus on consuming omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, trout and sardines.  Find ways to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables such as joining a community agriculture share. Be sure to try the many different forms of yoga for a form of movement and as way to decrease stress. To help manage insulin levels, focus on eating carbohydrates, proteins and fats at each meal and two of the three at snacks. This will slow the absorption of the carbohydrates thereby preventing a high blood sugar and insulin surge. Start with small goals and build upon them each week.

What’s your favorite recipe high in antioxidants? What is your favorite way to decreases stress? Do you have a favorite app that helps you achieve optimal wellness?

 

Breast Cancer Resources:

 

 

References:

1. Berrino, F., A. Villarini, M. De Petris, M. Raimondi, and P. Pasanisi. Adjuvant Diet to Improve Hormonal and Metabolic Factors Affecting Breast Cancer Prognosis. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1089.1 (2006): 110-18.
2.  Donaldson M.S.. Nutrition and cancer: A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet. Nutr. J. 2004; 3:19–25.

 

3 New Moves

I am a person who absolutely loves to try to new things. I am always up for the excitement of a fresh adventure. That’s why I immediately said yes when my friend Jaime asked me to join her at a new class. Thinking I would be attending a different kind of spin class, I quickly grabbed my spin shoes and headed out. Well…perhaps I should have given some thought to the name of the place I was going! “Chaise 23” is definitely not a new place to spin. Rather, think Pilates chair (aka “chaise”) meets aerobics on 23rd Street in New York City.  Well, needless to say, I am totally hooked. I’ve taken four of their classes…and just purchased a ten pack! Three of the four classes incorporate the Pilates chair plus bungees. Honestly, working my arms with bungees is the very best part. I must admit that my arms are not my most favorite part of my body! And I can’t stand working them because I always end up clenching my neck. And then I go home suffering with a stiff, painful neck. The bungees have provided me with an exactly opposite outcome. We work with bungee cords throughout the entire class—and they help me to painlessly access and exercise many more muscles under my arms.

The most humorous and challenging of the classes is “ballet bungee.” There is no chair; you just move like a ballet dancer with bungees. Nonstop! Um…I thought I was quite fit until I participated in this class. Thank goodness I arrived late to class; I honestly don’t know if I could have made it through the entire session. The cardio workout was positively incredible. I plan to wear my heart rate monitor (a recent birthday gift from friends) next time! These classes are such great fun—very different and much cheaper than regular Pilates classes.

When we asked Chaise 23 if they would agree to share a free class with one of our readers, they enthusiastically said “Yes!” So get moving! Comment here for a chance to win a free class at Chaise 23! And don’t forget to say “hi” if you see me there! Click here for more details about the giveaway.

The following weekend we headed out to Eastern Long Island to spend some time with friends. Previously, I had introduced my friends to Soul Cycle; this time they asked me if I was up for something new. So… I joined them at their favorite spin place—Fly Wheel. If you are competitive, need to be pushed or just want to be accountable, spin at Fly Wheel. Men and women are ranked individually by torque (speed and resistance) on a monitor for all to see! This class was definitely not about losing yourself in the movement; rather, it was a breath-stealing race from beginning to end. It definitely made me work harder than I usually do. I earned a 230 torque though I don’t think my performance served as a stress reliever. This class is a totally competitive race to the finish line. And it really gets your heart pumping. I promise that I will be back, but I’ll save it for East End weekends rather than making it part of my weekly movement routine.

Last but not least is my absolute new favorite—paddleboard yoga. Talk about core work, stress relief and chirping birds! Let me explain. For Fathers’ Day Weekend, we headed out to the Tides Inn in Irvington, VA. When my husband said he had signed us up for paddleboard yoga, I was downright excited. I have wanted to try this type of yoga for the past two years. We enthusiastically arrived at the marina—promptly at 10 o’clock Saturday morning—and went looking for our instructor. As I sat by the water watching a father and son come in off their boards, I started to get nervous. I knew swimming was not my strong suit, but even more important, I wondered how I could do yoga in a life jacket? And then I thought: It’s so extremely hot, perhaps falling into the water may be a refreshing outcome! Well, I started off on my board kneeling and practicing my paddling. The paddling was quite easy for me because I can paddle a canoe. After a few minutes, the instructor joined us and told me I could stand. And yes, I could stand up… very easily. My husband, the instructor and I paddled over to a part of the bay that was a bit calmer, set anchor (literally) and then our yoga movements began.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 2.12.37 PM

 

Our instructor was phenomenal; neither one of us fell in. We were both able to end our practice with the wheel pose and then finally rest in shavasana—the corpse pose. While quietly lying there, I just listened to the birds chirping and felt more at ease than I ever have…even after any yoga class. Something about being on the water—just you and your board—getting little splashes of water while the sun beats down on you is absolutely beautiful. My yoga practice was 100% about the practice.

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My mind never wandered; I was intent on focusing in my core for balance and, of course, not falling in the water. But it wasn’t fear-based; rather, it made me work from the inside out. If I was sloppy or tried to move without intention, I would fall in. Looking within yourself to find the movement was awe-inspiring and humbling…and very easy to do on this board. After we’d finished and paddled back to the marina, I just let myself enjoy a sheer sense of happiness. I had finally gotten to perform paddleboard yoga and I can’t wait to do it again. I highly recommend that you try it too. By the way, this extraordinary activity was free to overnight guests at the inn.

What are your new favorite moves? Any classes I should try? Where is your favorite place to do yoga?

 

Shrink Session Giveaway

 

Shrink SessionSwitch up your fitness routine with an exciting class that combines cardio-dance, yoga grooves and mantras that you say OUT LOUD while you are moving!  Shrink Session allows you to sweat your way to your most confident, powerful self. While you are working your way to a tighter tush and more toned body, you are also sending a new message of love, gratitude and joy to every cell of your body. As you experience yourself moving into new territories of what you ever believed was possible, remember that all bodies are wonderful no matter what!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

One lucky winner will receive online access to a full Shrink Session workout!

Enter by one of the following ways. You can submit more than one entry by doing any of the following. Just be sure to leave an additional comment letting us know you did! Good luck!

  • Leave a comment here and  “Like us” on our Facebook page
  • Follow @MomDishesItOut and tweet @MomDishesItOut is having a Shrink Session #Giveaway
    We’d love to hear about what ways you like to stay physically active and moving!. Giveaway ends on Sunday, June 23rd at 6:00 PM EST.

In the meantime… for a power pick-me-up and a sneak peek of the workout, you can also visit www.shrinksessionworkout.com and sign up to receive a FREE 15 min workout delivered straight to your inbox!

 

BIO:

Erin Stutland is a lifestyle and fitness coach and the creator of Shrink Session: Tone Your Body, Expand Your Mind. As a former professional dancer turned actress, Erin has guest starred on The Soprano’s, Chappelles Show, Sex and the City and more. She combined her love for movement, spirituality and self development into a unique fitness class that has impacted people all over the world.

Shrink Session, now an official class at Crunch Gyms, has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Daily Candy, Shape.com., Hello Giggles, Crazy Sexy Life and reaches people in their homes in Australia, Tokyo, the UK and all over the United States.

Erin runs a coaching business where she has the opportunity to help women create movement in their bodies and their lives. She is passionate about guiding creative entrepreneurs and artists to clarify an ideal visions for their lives and then make a plan of action to get there. She does this and everything with a sense of humor, ease and a touch of sass, because going for your dreams should be nothing short of a good time.

Fun and Easy Outdoor Activities for Father's Day

Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 10.52.04 AMTo help build healthy habits, center this Father’s Day on fun activities rather than just food. Pick out a few activities that you and your dad can enjoy together. Remember, the best gifts aren’t always bought–Sometimes Dad just wants to spend quality time with his family! June has the perfect summertime weather to fit in some outdoor activities. We’ve gathered a list of fun activities (both indoor and outdoor) to keep you both healthy and happy!

Cycling – Stay moving under the sun for a cool breeze. Cycling isn’t just for those who live in the suburbs…if you live in bustling city like NYC, you’ve probably seen the new Citi bikes. Rent them out for the day and ride along the Hudson Pier or make it an adventure over the Brooklyn Bridge!

Fishing – Grab a fishing pole and head towards the water. This is a relaxing activity to do whether you’re on a boat or sitting by the lake!

Hiking – Whether it’s extreme hiking or climbing up a trail, this will be a great time to connect with your dad. Pack lunches into a backpack and enjoy it with a great view.

Cooking Class – Switch up the focus on food this holiday by getting dad to cook with you! Book a class that teaches how to make foods from his favorite cuisine. This will give Dad an opportunity to pick up some new skills and if he’s already a chef in the kitchen… well, it’ll give him a chance to spice up his skills!

Beach – Nestle your toes in the sand and under the sun by traveling to the beach. Pack a frisbee and football or volleyball and you and the family are sure to have a great time.

Healthy in the Mind and the Body

You want to be healthy in the mind as well as the body, right? So do you think a gym is a place of healthy attitudes and positive role models? Unfortunately, it’s not always the best place for our mind or bodies especially when we are moving for the wrong reasons. Many times, I encourage my clients to move but fear they will get caught up in over-working their bodies, or triggered when their trainer or instructor give unsolicited diet advice or encourages more than one spin class a day. Well my colleague had the brilliant idea to create a training program to educate fitness specialists/trainers at the gym how to work with health seekers in a way that honors both the mind and body. This amazing training helps the gym employees to identify individuals with eating disorders and gives them tools to work with clients in a healthy way rather than encouraging the disorder. Read on to learn about Jodi’s Destructively Fit and perhaps think about whether or not your health club needs a little bit of Jodi’s energy.

By Guest Blogger, Jodi Rubin

Eating disorders have always been my passion. They have been my specialty since I began my LCSW private practice more than a decade ago. Over the years, I’ve directed a program for eating disorders, currently teach a curriculum I created on eating disorders at NYU’s Graduate School of Social Work, and have done a few other things. Yet, I have not found a way to connect my love of healthy fitness and honoring one’s body with my passion for helping those struggling with eating disorders.

The issue of eating disorders within fitness centers is a ubiquitous one. I’ve seen people spending hours on the treadmill, heard countless patients recounting their obsessiveness with the gym, and others seeming as though their self-esteem became immediately deflated if they couldn’t work out hard enough, fast enough or long enough. The research I have done has revealed that the presence of eating disorders within fitness centers is “sticky” and “complicated” and gets very little attention. Through no fault of anyone in particular, if people aren’t given the education and tools, then how can anyone feel knowledgable and confident enough to address this sensitive issue?

I went directly to fitness professionals to see what they thought about eating disorders within the fitness industry. As I suspected, it was clear that there was not a lack of interest in this issue. Quite the contrary. Most, if not all, of those with whom I spoke were eager and excited to finally have a forum in which they could learn about eating disorders and how to approach the issue. That’s when DESTRUCTIVELY FIT™: demystifying eating disorders for fitness professionals™ was born. I created this 3-hour training with the goal of educating those within the fitness industry about what eating disorders are and what to do if they notice that someone may be struggling. It has since been endorsed for continuing education by both the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and The American Council on Exercise (ACE) and has sparked the interest of variety of fitness clubs. Check out Destructively Fit™ in the news here!

Some stats for you…
• 25 million American women are struggling with eating disorders
• 7 million American men are struggling with eating disorders
• 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat
• 51% of 9-10 year old girls feel better about themselves when they are dieting
• 45% of boys are unhappy with their bodies
• 67% of women 15-64 withdraw from life-engaging activities, like giving an opinion and going to the doctor, because they feel badly about their looks
• An estimated 90-95% of those diagnosed with eating disorders are members of fitness centers

 

Read more about Destructively Fit™ on destructivelyfit.com. You can also follow Destructively Fit™ on Facebook and Twitter. Help spread the word and be a part of affecting change!

My Exercise Allergy

By Guest Blogger, Rebecca Weiss.

I used to joke and tell people I was allergic to exercise. It did seem that every time we were supposed to run around the track or play dodge ball in middle school I’d start to feel a bit unwell. Those Presidential Physical Fitness contests? I regularly threw up on those days. I think the main reason I hated exercise was that I couldn’t stand the sensation of being out of breath. It panicked me, and make me worry that I’d never catch my breath. It even led to some pretty serious anxiety issues as an adult. So, for the most part, when I ran as a kid, I would stop as soon as I wasn’t breathing normally. And, as a result, I never took to exercise. I did enjoy playing basketball in high school, but never really exerted myself because I hated the feel of my face getting red and my feet hitting the gym floor so heavily. I didn’t want to sweat in front of my classmates. I was too self-conscious to lose myself in the game.

And so, as an adult trying to improve my health and fitness level, I had to start from scratch. Now, people will tell you that all you have to do is walk a bit every day. And, certainly walking can be great exercise. But, I could walk so that I wasn’t burning any calories. My office is about a mile from Penn Station, with no good subway options, and I dreaded the walk every workday. I would adopt a slow pace, talk on my cell phone, take elevators or escalators when available—it wasn’t doing much for me. We all know that for exercise to have an impact you have to get your heart rate up. And, guess what, doing that might change your breathing or cause you to sweat. I did not want that.

One of my greatest role models for exercise was my paternal grandfather who, according to family lore, rode a stationary bike every day until his death at 92. So, at the age of 40, I bought a recumbent exercise bike. No one at the Sports Authority was any help, so I just picked the bike that felt the most comfortable in the store and wasn’t too expensive. Some people came to the house to set it up, and I was on my own. There were pre-set work out programs, a heart-rate checker, calorie counter and more, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my feet in the straps.

The first night I rode the bike for 10 minutes and thought I had made a terrible mistake. I had the tension set at level three (out of 10) and felt like my legs would fall off the entire time. My muscles were burning and I sensed that uncomfortable out-of-breath feeling creeping in. I hated hearing myself huffing and puffing for air. But, I told myself I had to keep trying to see if it got easier. And it did.

After about three weeks, I could ride at that same tension level for 20 minutes without feeling like I was going to die. I actually started to enjoy the feeling of sweat rolling down my face—it felt like I was accomplishing something. I settled into a routine of riding the bike for 30 minutes a night after my kids went to bed, while I watched all the trashy TV shows I could record on the DVR. The Real Housewives. The Soup. Say Yes to the Dress. Yes please! The best was Dancing with the Stars, as I found the music drove me to peddle faster.

After six months I was up to 35 minutes on some of the harder workout programs. I got used to the out-of-breath feeling, sometimes even embraced it. Look what my body can do! I can push myself to the point of discomfort and come out stronger. I don’t feel allergic anymore.

That time on the bike became “Me time.” I started to look forward to it. Even though the workouts were challenging, I craved them. I found that I was also pushing myself more on my walks to and from the office. Using the DWTS model, I listened to fast-paced music to inspire myself to walk faster. With my headphones on, I couldn’t hear myself huffing and puffing as my exertion increased. Using a pedometer helped me keep track of my distance and time, and showed me what a difference taking the stairs can make.

My dietician asked me recently if I think I will stick with this new routine, if it will be part of my life moving forward. I am almost positive that it will be. The truth is, I feel so much better now. I can run to catch my train without feeling that I’m over exerting myself. I have visible muscles in my thighs and calves that look great in skirts. I feel so amazing when I get off that bike each night—I don’t want to give that up.

I hope it means I’ll live to be 92 (or more), but for now it’s enough of a reward to see myself as someone who exercises regularly, and to have overcome fears that have slowed me down—literally—most of my life.

About Rebecca: 

Rebecca Weiss is a writer, mom of two, and director of communications for a New York City auction house. In 2012 she started a fitness and wellness journey. She is a monthly contributor to Mom Dishes It Out.

The Weight of the Nation

Did you know that 1 out of 5 of kids drinks three or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day, accounting for an extra meal? With Mayor Bloomberg proposing a ban in New York City over sugary drinks and the Disney channel banning junk food advertisements, it’s no secret that America is facing an obesity epidemic. Along with childhood obesity rates on the rise, chronic heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes have also increased over the past few years. Type 2 Diabetes, which  was once primarily diagnosed in old age, is now a common medical concern in children. While obesity-health related problems have been a looming crisis for quite some time, recently HBO launched a documentary, drawing quite a lot of attention to  the nation’s obesity crisis. The Weight of the Nation: Confronting America’s Obesity Epidemic, is a four part series focusing on consequences, choices, children in crisis, and challenges. To those who believe that the root of childhood obesity stems from a lack of parental responsibility in educating their children or a lack of exercise, Weight of the Nation presents viewers with an all-around perspective on the complexity of the issue.

Obesity is very complex and the documentary does a good job highlighting the many factors that contribute to the issue like poverty, genetics, food culture, personal responsibility, environment, issues of diet and lack of exercise. Issues with childhood obesity are caused in part by a lack of nutrition education, over-processed school food lunches, the overwhelming access to nutrient-poor foods conveniently located everywhere you go, and how video games and electronics have replaced outdoor and sport activities as a means for childhood entertainment. If the weight epidemic is not addressed,  Americans will eventually wind up paying even more for the cost of treating obesity-related illness. As obesity contributes to 5 of the 10 leading causes of death in America, it has added a whopping $150 billion to health costs now and according to the documentary, may hit or exceed $300 billion by 2018.

While the various factors that make solving the obesity epidemic seem nearly impossible, the biggest take-away from the series is that the nation’s weight crisis can be reversed. While some critics point out that the series is “too blunt” or “too graphic,” The Weight of the Nation is a wake-up call, drawing awareness to the depth of the problem and most importantly, a chance for us to fix it. Whether it’s taking the stairs or walking to work, change begins with the individual and we can start by integrating physical activity into our daily lives. In fact, the documentary points out that losing as little as 5% of your weight can improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and also lowers diabetes risk by nearly 60% in people with pre-diabetes. The show’s statistics, backed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Medicine among others, shows hope that even small improvements can make a difference.

 

 

 

The Epidemic of Diabetes

Hydrate with water, not soda

Regardless of weight and age, America is heading towards a Diabetes epidemic. Americans must change their lifestyles by moving more, and eating less.

Diabetes does not discriminate based on overall weight. America needs to focus on decreasing belly fat, specifically, eating less processed food and moving more.

 

Based on the study reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, Diabetes is increasing in our teen population. There was a 14% increase in prediabetes and diabetes in a ten year period. In 1999 – 2000, there was a 9% incidence of prediabetes and diabetes in teenagers between ages 12- 19. In 2007- 2008, there was a 23 % incidence of prediabetes and diabetes. This is more than two fold. However, the study also revealed this was regardless of weight. Across the weight spectrum, all teens had an increase in the incidence of Diabetes. In my mind, this is a Diabetes Epidemic not an obesity epidemic.

Obesity did not increase in our youth during this ten year period from 1999 – to 2008. One study from the NHANES reports an actual decrease in teen obesity, despite an increase in prediabetes and diabetes. Also, half of the participants in the study had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which means everyone needs intervention.

So what is the intervention? It depends on who you ask but the many agree America must move more, eat less processed food, and practice stress relief. America is eating too much and not moving enough. We are a culture of convenience. People need to eat because they are hungry rather than bored. We need to eliminate highly processed food such as chips and soda. We need to feel full with fiber and drink for hydration. Simple solutions are to replace chips with fiber rich berries and soda with bubbly water like Perrier. Ideally, we need to decrease insulin resistance and belly bulge (aka abdominal obesity).

The study admits to flaws. One of the flaws is the tool BMI – Body Mass Index. This measurement tool uses overall weight and height, not accounting for muscle mass and frame. Football players are considered obese when using BMI. A better tool to assess for obesity, belly fat, insulin resistance and or risk for diabetes would be the waist to height ratio. This tool would not qualify the typical football player as obese.

On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to share some of these thoughts with the HLN audience. Click here to see the clip.

 

May AL, Kuklina EV, Yoon PW. Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among US adolescents, 1999−2008. Pediatrics. 2012;peds.2011-1082.