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Nutrition News: Whole Grains For Cancer Prevention

Charlyn Fargo on

A new report from the American Institute of Cancer Research finds five habits that can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer:

--Eating whole grains and foods containing fiber reduces risk

--Excess body fat is one of the strongest factors that increases risk

--Consuming processed meats and high amounts of red meat increases risk

--Drinking two or more alcoholic drinks daily increases risk

--Daily moderate physical activity reduces the risk.

 

But how many whole grains and fiber-rich foods are needed daily to reduce the risk?

Scientists found strong evidence that eating 3 ounces of whole grain foods daily reduces the risk for colorectal cancer by 17 percent. Scientists attribute the cancer protection to the fiber, vitamin E, selenium, lignans, and phenols found in whole grain foods.

Sounds easy enough, but what are whole grain foods? Oatmeal, brown rice instead of white; whole-wheat bread instead of white bread; ancient grains such as quinoa, teff, millet, barley, amaranth and spelt.

The definition of a whole grain is that it contains three components - the bran (where the fiber is), germ (where the nutrients are) and the endosperm (the starchy part). White flour and white rice are refined grains that have the bran and germ removed. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating at least half of your grains as whole grains.

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