This article originally appeared in Be Well, a health
information newsletter published for members of the Greater Marlborough
An increasing body of research is confirming what mom has told you all your
life: fresh fruits and vegetables are good for your health and may play a
significant role in helping to avoid some types of cancer. Eating a diet high in
vegetables and fruits and low in animal fat, meat and calories can reduce risk
of some of the most common cancers. Small changes can make a big difference; try
whole grain pasta or brown rice instead of refined or processed grains. The
simple substitute will add more vitamins, minerals and fiber into your meal.
Even switching from whole milk to one percent (low fat) can save five grams of
fat per cup. There is strong scientific evidence that healthy dietary patterns,
along with regular exercise, reduce cancer risks.
"Cancer prevention starts with environmental factors as these are the easiest
to modify. A healthy diet is key to a healthy weight for starters," said
Christine Rymsha, RD, LDN, Marlborough Hospital clinical nutrition manager. "In
addition, including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in
your diet is found to be beneficial. Physical activity is also an important
factor in prevention."
The American Cancer Society recommends eating five or more servings of a
variety of fruits and vegetables each day, choosing whole grains in preference
to processed grains, and limiting alcoholic beverage consumption.
"All of these lifestyle modifications are not just beneficial for cancer
prevention, but are also beneficial for overall health," said Ms. Rymsha.
Marlborough Hospital provides one-on-one outpatient nutrition counseling
including dietary plans for patients with cancer, diabetes, eating disorders,
elevated cholesterol, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, hypertension,
obesity and women's health issues. For more information contact outpatient