Based on decades of research and an evidence-based lifestyle Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) developed a diet that puts “plant foods first.” The idea is to choose foods that are minimally processed and are low in calories due to their high water and fiber content. Since unprocessed plant-based food meets those key criteria, AICR recommends choosing meals designed around plants to reduce your risk of cancer.
AICR's New American Plate is a model to help people re-think the composition of their plates. It is a fresh way of creating meals that lower risk for cancer by getting more health-protective compounds in your diet. This way of eating calls for filling your plate with at least 2/3 vegetables, whole grains, beans and other plant foods, and 1/3 or less of meats and dairy.
A key principle of the New American Plate is to focus on minimally processed foods and to limit highly processed foods and those with added sugar and fat. This applies whether sticking to three meals a day or snacking throughout the day. By using these food choice principles, Americans can help reduce their risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Importantly, the New American Plate is also designed to support a healthy weight. Excess body fat can promote chronic inflammation, and increase blood sugar, insulin levels and related hormones that can spur the growth of cancer cells. AICR’s expert report and CUP reports show that excess body fat is a cause of eleven cancers, including post-menopausal breast, colorectal, esophageal, and pancreatic.
Cancer Prevention Month is a great time to evaluate how your diet stacks up when it comes to cancer risk. Take our quiz: How Healthy is Your Diet?, to see where you stand. Then sign up for our next New American Plate Challenge, a 12-week online program for weight loss and cancer prevention, starting February 26. You will join thousands of individuals to get online dietitian support in implementing practical tips for a healthy diet.
Published on March 21, 2018