SLOW down

Slow eating help prevent overweight.

Eating at a leisurely pace may help you to prevent overeating and weight gain. Slowing food intake triggers feelings of fullness even if you consume less food.

By changing your eating style, you can still feast on and allow the brain to catch up with your belly. With slow eating, a satiety signal (the feeling satisfaction), will result even if you consume less amount of calories. Brain registers the feeling of fullness in about 15-20 minutes after the start of eating, regardless the quantity of food consumed!


Schedule at least 30 minutes to eat your meal. Start enjoying the color of the dish first, then its freshness and fragrance. The more colors on your plate, the healthier your meal is!

While dining with your family or friends focus on your food, eat slowly even while talking with others. Chewing the food for longer, min 12 times, will slow down the eating and help register the aroma and the taste of the food you consume. By resting the fork between bites, you can chew longer. Choose high-fiber foods that take more time to chew such as fresh vegetable salads and fruits. Many studies have shown that after an hour of the meal, slow eaters, will report less hunger and lower desire to eat.


  • Eating slowly will help your intestinal tract to process well.
  • Eating slowly will help you to consume less calories in more minutes.
  • Eating slow means eating less food but more long-lasting satisfaction

Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fats will help stimulate the hormone leptin, that controls the appetite. Leptin is a bigger player in our bodies’ energy balance. It helps signal the brain that the body has sufficient energy stores. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates and protein will suppress a hormone called ghrelin, an appetite increaser. So, try to incorporate more complex carbohydrate such as brown rice, wheat, oats, quinoa, barley, corn and high biological value protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt, antioxidants rich fruits such as orange, watermelon, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, apples, papaya and omega  fats such as walnuts, sardine, salmon and soybean in your daily meal.

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Raw foods are good sources of enzymes that gives you a feeling of satiety and keeps you full for a longer time. Raw greens and vegetables like spinach, cucumber, jicama have fewest calories per bite. An apple rich in pectin and other fibers, before a meal will help fill you up, so, you don’t end up eating much!

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Hydrating between the bites will slow down your eating process.

Slow eating along with the right portion size and regular physical activity will give you a good look and a better shape.

Eat, Move and Live Healthy.


Good Vs Bad

Cholesterol, a fatty substance that circulates in the blood is an important component of human cells.


It plays a major role in the production of vitamin D, bile acids that aids in digestion and absorption of the vitamins and in the formation of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Our body produces about 75% of cholesterol and we achieve the remaining 25% through food.

Cholesterol floats around your blood in two different forms: the Low-density lipoprotein, LDL and High-density lipoprotein, HDL cholesterol.

Cholesterol risk

Everyone should know their LDL and HDL levels because they provide you a more specific estimate of the risk of developing arterial blockages. People with elevated levels of LDL are more likely suffer from heart attacks. Every 10mg increase in LDL per decilitre (dL) of blood, the risk of heart attack increases by almost 20%. Higher level of HDL, the good cholesterol, will lower the risk of cardiac events.

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Your body requires some amount of cholesterol to function, but in LDL cholesterol in higher levels along with other substances can deposit as plaque within the walls of the arteries, causing these pipes get narrower and less flexible. This condition is called “atherosclerosis.”  If a clot forms it will block the narrowed artery that results in a heart attack or stroke.

It is apparent that as your blood cholesterol rises, your risk for heart diseases also increases. High blood pressure, diabetes and smoking will further increase the risk.

Do you know that high cholesterol, the major risk factors of heart attack and stroke can be controlled?

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Regular exercise and right type of diet will help increase the HDL cholesterol and reduce the LDL cholesterol at the same time.

Start your aerobics now and within 2 months you will see an increase in HDL by 5%. Any exercise that increase your heart rate like: brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, dancing will help increase the HDL in the blood.

Why is HDL that very important?

HDL, the good cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Enjoy your brisk exercise every day, 30 minutes, to reap the benefit of HDL.

Saturated foods not only high in calories but also will increase the blood LDL cholesterol.

Limit the consumption of foods high in saturated fat, trans-fat and cholesterol, like:

  • Desiccated coconut, Coconut oil, palm oil, cheese, cocoa butter that are high in saturated fats
  • Margarine a partially hydrogenated, is high in trans-fat that elevates the LDL cholesterol and lowers HDL cholesterol.
  • Butter, animal fats (tallow (beef fat), lard (pork fat), duck fat, goose fat), beef, lamb, pork, chicken with skin, whole milk are high in saturated fats and cholesterol as well.
  • Baked foods are high in saturated fats and trans-fats. Some food labels may show low in cholesterol. But they may contain more trans-fat and saturated fat. So, read the food label before you add on to your cart.

American Heart Association recommends 5-6% of calories from saturated fat. That means 13g / 120 calories from saturated for 2000 calories a day.

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Swap out high saturated fats for their lower-fat counterparts, like skimmed milk, lean meat, chicken without skin, and fish. Do you know celery helps reduce the LDL cholesterol.  A handful of nuts everyday, will help increase the HDL cholesterol and decrease the LDL cholesterol in the blood!


Use sunflower, safflower, olive oil for cooking. Extra virgin olive oil will help control blood glucose and cholesterol after meal. Sounds great!

The best alternatives to replace saturated fats:

  • Whole grains
  • Lean meat, poultry without skin, fish
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products

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Burn excess calories: Avoid heart burn!

An occasional acid reflux is common and everyone of us experience it from time to time!

But frequent acid reflux that is involved with large amount of acid becomes a problem. GERD,  Gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a more severe form of acid reflux.  

No worries……… Lifestyle changes help control GERD.

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Eating smaller meals and identifying and avoiding the foods that causes heart burns like: tomato sauce, alcohol, fatty or fried foods, chocolates, garlic, mint, onion and caffeine, will help prevent acid reflux and live symptoms free!

To curb the heartburn, it is wise to design your meals with naturally low- stomach acid producing food, that is, the food that prevents the excess stomach acid secretion and the splash up of the same into the esophagus!

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Banana & Apples are very effective in controlling the acid reflux. If taken along with the meal the soluble fiber and vitamins & minerals help digest the food and absorb the nutrients effectively. Honey dew, berries, peaches and cantaloupe are also aids in stomach-acid, that help control the heart burn.

Banana is kids friendly. You can make a healthy, delicious banana and egg pancakes in few minutes.

Mash a banana with dinner fork. Whisk an egg and add it to the mashed banana. Mix well until the banana and egg is completely combined. The batter has no flour, so it will be very loose and liquid. Drop roughly 2-3 tablespoon of the batter to a hot non-stick pan and cook well on both sides until it is done. Top the pancakes with a honey!


Bacterial overgrowth, a major factor in heartburn. Probiotics are effective in reducing the harmful bacteria in the gut. Restoring a healthy balance of intestinal flora is an important aspect of GERD prevention cum treatment. Yogurt, a natural buffer! It contains milk proteins and collidal salts which prossess both acid and base properties that act as buffering agents!

How about a salad with yogurt for lunch? Mix cubed chicken, cubed honeydew melon cubes in a bowl and yogurt with a pinch of salt and pepper. Enjoy this colorful and nutrients densed salad with brown rice and green bean for lunch!

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All kind of fruits, esp. apples, berries, bananas, peaches, pears, papaya, pineapple will help during treatment and of course for the prevention of GERD

Peach almond smoothie is more refreshing and packed with nutrients.

Just whirl 2½ cup of peaches with 2 cups of soymilk and a handful of soaked almonds with a tablespoon of honey. Enjoy with your partner as a summer refresh!


All kinds of dark green vegetables, roots (except onions) and greens are good sources of vitamins & minerals and fibers that help control acid reflux. Steaming and baking are highly recommended to reap the benefits of these vegetables. The fibers will help you keep full for longer time and will keep your intestines less irritant. Vegetables can be enjoyed both in raw and cooked forms. If suffering from heart burns or GERD, avoid tomatoes, onions and lemon dressings.

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Whole grains

Whole grains are rich in both macro & micro nutrients and fibers. They help control the insulin spike with the slow release of sugar into the blood. The fibers keeps you full for a longer time. See that the food is not cooked with more fat because fats tend to increase the acid reflux.

Oatmeal, a soft start in the morning doesn’t cause reflux. It is more filling and the soluble fiber in the oats help control the cholesterol absorption too! How about whipped banana with oats for morining breakfast. Puree half a banana in the food processer until soft, creamy and fluffy, stir it to the cooked oats and top it with baked almonds. Thats’ it! The non-dairy but healthy breakfast is ready!

Other best breakfast options are whole meal bread egg sandwich, chappati with dhal or vegetable sabji, Seashell pasta and bean (black bean, corn kernel) soup, noodle soup with vegetable and egg or fish.


Fish is an excellent source of protein, that help prevent acid reflux. Baked or steamed fish or sliced fish soup with just pepper with less spices will help avoid acid reflux. If you are already suffering from GERD, it is wise to  avoid spices that supports the reflux and say a “NO” to smoked fish for it delivers a hefty dose of sodium and a possible growth-site of Listeria bacteria, too! Excess harmful bacteria in the gut will increase the acid reflux. Why take risk? Just enjoy the steamed or baked fish with pan roasted vegetables like asparagus, mushrooms , peas and bell peppers.

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Skinless chicken especially the breast with less fat when compared to the other parts of the bird will help reduce the heart burn. Lesser the spices lower the acid effects!

Greesy fried foods, succulent rib-eye steak, yummy chicken wings, and cheese will worsen the acid reflux symptoms. So, be on guard….

Camomile tea and  Green tea

Caffeine rich coffee, tea and sodas will aggravate the acid reflux condition. It doesn’t mean that you have to completely give up coffee. It is as simple as watching the portion size. Guzzling the coffee or tea all day long will result in severe heart burn. Rather, switching to non-caffeine tea like camomile or green tea, will help you to avoid acid reflux and feel more relaxed.

green tea HTN

Maintain your weight

Obesity will lead to increased reflux! Wondering what is the connection between obesity and GERD? Studies have shown that excess body weight and increased belly size may cause heartburn, for the excess belly fat causes pressure on the stomach. Sounds logic!

Watch out! Greezy fried foods, succulent rib-eye steak, yummy chicken wings, cheese will worsen the acid reflux symptoms. So, eat the right food for your body to work properly and help burn the fat efficiently.

Stop using the tobacco, no matter what form it is in, for nicotine weakens the lower esophageal muscle.

Recommendations on how to manage GERD

  • Decrease total fat intake
  • Eat frequent small meals
  • Identify the irritants and avoid them
  • Limit the spices
  • Decrease caloric intake if weight loss is required.


El-Serag, H. (2008). The Association Between Obesity and GERD: A Review of the Epidemiological Evidence. Digestive Diseases and Sciences53(9), 2307–2312. doi:10.1007/s10620-008-0413-9

Sugar Rush: Insulin Spike

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If you want your days to be more productive and rewarding, launch them with a nourishing meal. You will be more productive all day long if you could just invest few minutes in eating a healthy breakfast. Yes. A healthy breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day! Hot cereal or granola or an egg omelette with toast that jump-starts the brain, and fire up the metabolism and gives you energy that lasts till midday, sounds great!  But not all food is created equal. Foods burn at different speed. Sugary cereal and drinks goes up faster than the food packed with little fat and protein.

What you eat impacts your insulin level. Unable to believe? Do you know that more than any other hormones in our body our diet is key in regulating the insulin level?

Everything you eat is converted to sugar. Yes… The carbohydrates, the fats, the proteins are converted to glucose, that ends up in your blood, and are ready to travel around the body, no matter where they come from your meal!

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Fast foods are more tempting especially when you are hurry and hungry. They are a complete package of fats, calories and sodium that leads to your “blood sugar soaring!” Do you know that fast food meals spikes blood sugar levels by 30% even in a healthy person? An average hamburger size in early 60s were just 1.5 oz/42.5g but today it is more than 8 oz/227g! Can you imagine the sugar rush! The regular sodas and juices in this package are loaded with sugars and in fact, your body doesn’t need so much!

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Your body is unprepared for this sudden sugar rush, and have to release a massive amount of insulin all at once to deal with the rise in blood sugar. High spike in insulin lead to a dramatic drop in blood glucose, which can cause your body to feel hungry again. What next? You will end up eating more food since you are hungry and the cycle repeats. The sad thing is the frequent sugar rush and the insulin spikes can lead to mood swings, constipation, and lower your energy levels. Ultimately it can worsen the diabetes condition and promote weight gain. In addition to this cycle repetition, the huge amount of sodium that is hidden in the food will increase your blood pressure, too!

Sugar rush, insulin spike, high blood pressure, weight gain and all these together, sounds terrific!

What you eat with your carbohydrate also matters. Sugar level rises about 15 to 20 minutes after you eat. But it peaks the same time if your meal is with quickly digested carbs like white bread, white rice, candy, soda and juice! Larger the portions of processed carbs higher the spike of sugar! Eating too much food can make you feel uncomfortable and tired.

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If your meal is very well balanced with complex carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber, the blood sugar tend to peak about one to two hours after eating. Protein and fats tend to slow down the absorption of glucose. A bowl of rice with beans / lean meat and vegetables will naturally reduce the blood sugar impact of the whole meal! Beans are digested slowly, hence the small impact. You can enjoy your dessert too, as long as it is a part of a healthy meal plan that is combined with exercise.

So, you need to be mindful of portion sizes, the quality of the carbohydrates, proteins and high fat add-on like salad dressings, sauces and cheese.

It is wise to stay away from high GI foods like white bread / rice and sugary drinks. Rice cakes & crackers, baked potato, breakfast cereals, cakes & scones, donuts, made of refined flour are High in GI

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Eat less refined carbohydrate and more whole foods like apple, plums, beans, lentils, barley, whole meal bread, nuts, pasta, green jade noodles, buck wheat soba noodle, shirataki noodle that are low in GI. Other Asian noodles like udon, rice vermicelli, hokkien-mee  are medium in GI

Large spike in insulin can cause muscle loss!

The body normally combats low blood sugar by releasing energy from stored fat, but the high level of insulin will not allow this process to happen. The only source of energy left in this situation is protein. Your body will breakdown the protein. You gain fat and at the same time you loose muscle. Not a good sign!

High insulin, turns off the fat burning and turns on the fat storage switch. This is not we want!  We only want the fat to be broken down for energy generation and this can be achieved only when the insulin levels are low!

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Eating meals rich in whole grains, lean meat, unsaturated fats, nuts, fruits & vegetables at regular intervals along with regular exercise – combination of aerobics, strength and stretching exercises, for 30 minutes every day, will help to keep the insulin and blood sugar well balanced.

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7 Easy ways to create your plate

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  1. Divide your plate into 3 portions: 1 half and 2 quarters

2.  Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables like:Spinach, turnips greens, cabbage, mushrooms, okra, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, bak choy

3.  Fill in the 1st quarter section with your protein like:

Chicken or turkey without skin
Salmon or tuna or catfish
Shrimp or oysters
Lean cut beef or pork or an egg
Tofu or cooked Beans or Peas



4.  Fill in the 2nd quarter section with grains and whole food starches like:
Whole grain bread, tortilla, brown rice, pasta, potatoes, sweet potatoes

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5.  Add a serving of dairy

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6.  Add a serving of fruit

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7.  Complete your meal with
Plain water or unsweetened tea or coffee

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Regular physical activities, min 30 minutes a day can give you mental health benefits and increase your chances of living longer!


Break the cycle

Cut back the “sit” time: Increase your “fit” time

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Many say, “ I don’t have time to exercise.”  It is a total lie…. Yes, you know the fact, but you refuse to accept!  Recent years, many people became overweight through a slow, gradual weight gain of 1 or 2 kg per year, especially, children. This demonstrates a slight imbalance of energy that results in weight gain over time, leading to health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Need to extend yourself, everyday!

Break the cycle

Is life all about work, eat and sleep? Not exactly! There is something more important, you need to concentrate everyday-“Physical activity!” You must use your body tools everyday. You need to clean them and set them back in the right position, so that they are ready for movement, the next day. Movement is an opportunity! Seek opportunity to choose standing over sitting, walking over driving, and climbing the stairs instead of using elevator!

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Any movement count as physical activity: dancing, skating, gardening, cycling, climbing stairs, scrubbing floors, washing the car by hand, playing with kids. Anything that gets you moving, really is considered a good physical activity. In addition, you feel happy! Weave activity into your day by bicycling or brisk walking to commute to work, to go to the store, market, to drop and pick-up your children from school.

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You can maintain / reduce your weight when you are careful in how much you eat and how much you expend. It is about the awareness and making the better choices on both food and physical activity.

If you are taking insulin or under medication, do not go for vigorous exercise. Consult the doctor and exercise physiologists to learn if there is any specific exercise restrictions, before you start moving.

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Cutting back on “sit” time is just as important as increasing “fit” time.

Mind & Body

Try to meditate atleast 5-10 mins every day. Observing your breath by closing your eyes will help shift the mind from worries to a relaxed state.

Strike an energy balancing act: 

  • For energy balance and optimal weight, focus on nutrient dense foods like, fruits & vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy, whole grains and of course physical activity! 
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Practice portion control. Your plate should be half fruits & vegetables, a quarter lean protein/beans and a quarter whole grains.
  • Increase your water intake and decrease the sugary beverages.
  • Choose only one serving of dessert.

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If you take in less energy than your body requires, you lose weight. When you take in more than your body needs, you gain weight. You will be able to maintain a perfect weight by balancing your energy. Step outside when you can, for fresh air, sunlight and physical activity. Family activities makes the whole family fit & happy.

Movement is an opportunity not an inconvenience.

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Flashy fruits & vegetables: To strike out cancer!

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If you are concerned about lowering the risk of cancer, take comfort in the fact that “Some simple lifestyle changes can make big difference.” Yes, the primary prevention of cancer is through better lifestyles like  healthy eating, regular physical activity, smoking cessation, alcohol moderation, UV-exposure reduction and screen to precancerous lesions.

Maintain a healthy weight

A BMI of 25 or less is optimal. Waist size should also be considered, for higher the amount of body fat deposited in and around the waist signifies higher risk of cancer. Having too much belly fat is linked with an increased risk of colorectal, prostate pancreas, edometrium( linging of the uterus) and breast cancer ( in women past menopause). Higher intake of dietary fat & alcohol and low level of exercise is the leading cause of colorectal and prostate cancer in men. Men tend to accumulate more fats than women!! It is obvious that all men should lose the belly fat to reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  In women, though estrogen levels dip during the menopause, far more women experiences the symptoms of estrogen dominance-the increase in hunger and  the decrease in metabolism,  that leads to fat gain around the waist! Gaining weight after menopause will increase the risk of breast cancer in women. So, after 40 years, women should focus on small-frequent -healthy meals with regular physical activity to maintain their weight. 

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If you are overweight or obese, no worries…………. Just work to lose the weight! Excess body fat can be reduced by lowering the number of calories you consume (lowering the portion size), choosing a low-fat diet, and increasing the physical activity!

Regular physical activity will help reduce your risk of cancer and recurrence through several powerful and synergistic mechanism. Strive for at least 30 mins of moderate aerobic exercise. Combining aerobic and resistance exercise will have a wonderful effect on glycemic control in individual with type 2 diabetes. Enjoy performing some light stretching exercises often.


Eat healthy food

Healthy selections at the grocery stores and at mealtime will help reduce your cancer risk.

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  • Fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and pulses are generally low in calories and fat. They are considered the good food choices that help you control your weight and reduce your cancer risk. They are also rich in vitamins & minerals that strengthen the immune system. Dark colored beans, vegetables & fruits are high in antioxidants which prevent the cell damage that leads to cancer. The fibers, linked to reduce the cancer risk! Scientists at Cancer Prevention Institute of California have found that a diet high in fruits & vegetables may significantly reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Eating lots of vegetables, especially cooked tomato-based foods, rich in lycopene, can lower the risk of prostate cancer in men. Watermelon, grapefruit, red & pink guava are also good sources of lycopene. Aviary Photo_130279416386388766
  • Berries are high in antioxidant properties. Blueberries rank number one in terms of their antioxidant power. Antioxidants neutralizes the free radicals, an unstable compounds that damage the cells and lead to diseases including cancer.  Aviary Photo_130298342051170378Grab the blue berries!  
  • Eating a diet high in fiber can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Dietary fibers protect against breast cancer through inhibition of the intestinal reabsorption of estrogen.
    • Soluble fiber has been shown to be more effective in controlling the blood glucose, insulin, which have been positively related to the risk of breast cancer.
    • Insoluble fiber are more effective in binding and excreting estrogen. 

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  • Nut eaters are less likely to die of cancer! The unsaturated fatty acids, minerals and other nutrients from heart-healthy peanuts, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pistachios are not only cardio protective, also anti-carcinogenic, and with antioxidant properties, that aid in lowering the cholesterol, inflammation and reducing the risk of cancer. Nuts are goods sources of selenium, that helps destroy cancer cells and aid cells repair their DNA. Enjoy a handful of nuts with fresh green salads rich in fibers, vitamins & minerals and antioxidants.

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  • Choose wholegrain, for refined foods are high in GI, the glycemic index. Research has shown that women even with BMI < 25, had an increased risk of breast cancer with an increasing amount of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates!!!
  • Limit eating processed meat like – smoked, cured, salted, added preservatives, for the diet high in processed meat is linked to bowel cancer!
  • Controlling the intake of foods high in calories, fats and sugar will help reduce the risk of bowel and breast cancers!
  • Culinary herbs like garlic, mint, basil, oregano, cilantro (coriander leaves), chives, parsley not only add flavor and color to meals, they also help to prevent and manage heart disease, cancer and diabetes!Aviary Photo_130298358633601086IMG_7098
  • Choose baking, boiling, steaming or stir frying as healthy cooking options, for they limit the use of fat and reduce the risk of being overweight! Broccoli is a good source of cancer-protective flavonoids. Micorwaving destroys 90% of its flavonoids. So, it is wise to steam it, or stir fry this vegetable to hold the cancer preventing flavonoids.

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Go moderate on alcohol.

Alcohol is a known cause of mouth, throat, liver, colon and rectum cancers. People who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than a drink per day.

Protect yourself from the sun

Many skin cancers are caused by excess exposure to UV rays from the sun or other sources. Stay out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun rays are strongest. Avoid tanning beds, for these are just as damaging as UV rays.

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Don’t use tobacco

Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths. It has been linked to various types of cancer, including the cancer of lung, bladder, cervix and kidney. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women.

Good, if you don’t smoke. But exposure to second hand and sidestream smoke might increase the risk of lung cancer! So, provide a safe, enjoyable and accessible environments for yourself and your family.

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You have the power, to reduce your cancer risk, by having a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.Aviary Photo_130298303425323766


  • Yikyung Park, Louise A Brinton, Amy F Subar, Albert Hollenbeck, and Arthur Schatzkin. Dietary fiber intake and risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women: the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr September 2009 vol. 90 no. 3 664-671
  • Wanqing Wen, Xiao Ou Shu, Honglan Li, Gong Yang, Bu-Tian Ji, Hui Cai, Yu-Tang Gao, and Wei Zheng. Dietary carbohydrates, fiber, and breast cancer risk in Chinese women. Am J Clin Nutr January 2009 vol. 89no. 1 283-289
  • Martin Lajous, Marie-Christine Bourton-Ruault, Alban Fabre, Francoise Clavel-Chapelon, and Isabelle Romieu. Carbohydrate intake, glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in a prospective study of French women. Am J Clin Nutr May 2008 vol. 87 no. 5 1384-1391
  • Ernest H Rosenbaum, M.D. David Spiegel, M.D. Patricia Fobair, L.C.S.W., M.P.H. Hollyl Gautier, R.N. With Louise Maffitt, B.F.A. Everynone’s Guide to Cancer Survivorship; A Road Map for Bette Health. 2007