Healthy diet myths busted by Devon Macmillan dietitian
Macmillan Dietitian’s are busting some of the most common healthy eating myths.
Macmillan Cancer Support is often more associated with the Macmillan nurses.
However, the cancer charity also helps fund and support a range of other organisations and professionals, including dietitians.
People who are diagnosed with cancer, can often suffer nutritionally due to the effects of chemo and radiotherapy.
In some instances the treatment might cause someone to lose their sense of taste altogether, and the actual location of someone’s cancer can make it difficult for them to swallow or process food.
Macmillan Dietitian funding
The effects of cancer treatment can cause people to lose their sense of taste.
It is because of this that Macmillan has funded cancer-specialist dietitians in South Devon.
Support is offered by the dietitians at all stages of cancer including for those in recovery.
They can help those with cancer manage their difficult diet, eating and swallowing.
Along side this they can help improve their physical health, dietetic support helps people living with cancer feel more like themselves.
Swapping Burgers for Broccoli
Research has suggested that following a more plant-based, fat free diet may reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
However, whether you swap burgers for broccoli or eat less unhealthy foods, is there really a sure fire away to avoid cancer?
This week is Dietitians Week, Macmillan Dietitian Fiona Ross, who leads a team of three dietitians at Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, wants to combat diet myths often associated with preventing certain diseases.
She would also like to help people in South Devon better understand what a healthy diet entails.
Fiona Ross Says:
In my work providing nutritional advice and support for cancer
patients across South Devon, I hear a lot of confusing myths around diet and cancer.
To help people beat the confusion here are five of the most common and the
practical advice I give patients.
5 FaQs a Macmillan Dietitian gets asked
Does Sugar or artificial sweeteners increase risk of cancer?
There is no evidence to directly link sugar or artificial sweeteners to cancer.
An idea that is often seen is that sugar feeds cancer cells, and although glucose is used by both cancer and health cells, no solid evidence exists to prove the link.
Research is underway to find out how cells are using energy to better develop treatments for cancer.
That said foods which are high in added sugar also tend to be highly calorific.
Higher calories can mean an increase in fat without any nutrients being added to the system.
Fat can cause weight gain which can lead to people being overweight or obese which does run the risk of developing 12 different types of cancer.
What are superfoods and will they lower my cancer risk?
Green tea, blueberries, broccoli, beetroot are on a long list of foods described as superfoods.
A Macmillan Dietitian knows that there is no such thing as a superfoods and it is a marketing term used to sell products.
Consuming a range of healthy fruit and vegetables, wholegrain and keeping your body weight down.
This combined with cutting down on alcohol, not smoking will all reduce your risks of developing cancer.
Organic foods will I benefit from eating them?
Organic foods are fruit and vegetables that are grown without using artificial fertilisers, pesticides or other chemicals.
Again there is no strong evidence to support that organic food can help protect against cancer.
So when it comes to eating well for cancer prevention increase your fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and pulses intake however you can.
Should I become a vegetarian to lower my cancer risk?
No, again there is no evidence linking fresh or lean poultry to an increase in cancer risk.
You can moderate the amount of red meat you eat to no more than 350g-500g per week.
Fish and meat can be an important source of nutrients as part of a balanced and healthy diet.
Becoming a vegetarian, might be a little extreme.
Do dietary supplements protect people against cancer?
There is no evidence to support that dietary supplements can reduce the risk of cancer, cancer recurrence or improve the likelihood of survival.
Further details on diet and cancer can be found on the Macmillan website. You can also get some cooking ideas right here.