Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer?
Laboratory studies show no clear evidence that supports a connection between cancer and the use of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, or saccharin.
Should I buy organic foods to avoid pesticides?
Currently, there is no scientific evidence that foods containing small amounts of residues or pesticides increase cancer risk. If you are concerned about pesticides, avoiding fruits and vegetables may do more harm than good.
It is always best to wash produce well before eating it. The important thing is that you eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whether they are organic or conventionally grown. The benefits of eating more of these foods strongly outweigh any potential risks.
Do soy and soy products increase or decrease breast cancer risk?
Years of scientific studies show soy is safe; however, recent research shows soy components could possibly increase breast cancer risk under specific conditions. More studies are needed before a definitive answer is known.
There are a few things women with breast cancer should keep in mind:
- Women who take tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitor medications or who have been diagnosed with estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer may want to limit their consumption of soy and soy products to no more than a few servings per week
- Supplements of soy components such as soy protein or isoflavones haven’t been well researched and are not recommended
Source: American Institute for Cancer Research
Do raw fruits and vegetables provide more nutrients than cooked fruits and vegetables?
Certain fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients raw, while others such as tomatoes increase cancer-fighting components when cooked. When it comes to produce, the less processed the better. For example, boiling vegetables can cause them to lose many of their nutrients. Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables are preferred over canned. Healthy options for cooking produce include steaming, grilling, or microwaving.
HCI dietitians can help answer specific questions about fruits and vegetables, but as a rule of thumb, include a variety of produce in your diet.
What types of foods are best when you are nauseated?
It’s important to maintain strength and not lose too much weight when going through cancer treatments. Nausea is a difficult part of many cancer treatments, but diet and medications can help manage it. Bland foods such as potatoes, bread, crackers, and broth are usually tolerated best. Ginger has been shown to help with the symptoms of nausea. Patients may also want to avoid strong cooking odors.
Can I take nutritional supplements or use alternative therapies and homeopathic remedies?
Even though they are labeled “natural” and sold over-the-counter, many supplements and homeopathic remedies can be dangerous and could interfere with cancer medications and treatments. Patients should always speak to their health care providers or registered dietitians before taking nutritional supplements, antioxidants, or homeopathic products.