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Meat and High-Glycemic Foods Increase Kidney Cancer Risk
Red meat and high-glycemic-index foods could be risk factors for kidney cancer, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Researchers studied the diets of 335 people with renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, and 337 healthy individuals. They found that men and women who ate red meat five or more times a week were more than four times as likely to develop the disease, compared with those who consumed red meat less than once a week. The study also found that high consumption of white bread, white potatoes, and other high-glycemic-index foods increased cancer risk.

Dolwick Grieb SM, Theis RP, et al. Food groups and renal cell carcinoma: results from a case-control study. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109:656-667.

Grilled Meat Linked to Pancreatic Cancer
Meat cooked at high temperatures has been linked to colorectal cancer, and it may also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.

In this nine-year study, researchers analyzed information on meat consumption and preferred cooking methods for 62,581 participants. Participants who cooked meat at high temperatures and consumed more well-done meat had about a 60 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, compared with other people.

Veggie burgers and portabella mushrooms are healthful alternatives for summer barbecues, as plant-based foods do not produce harmful concentrations of carcinogens when grilled.

Anderson KE, Mongin SJ, et al. Pancreatic cancer risk: associations with meat-derived carcinogen intake. Report presented at: American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting; April 21, 2009: Denver.

couple cookingMushrooms Protect Against Breast Cancer
Mushrooms may reduce the risk of breast cancer, according to a study conducted in southeast China. Researchers analyzed dietary records from more than 2,000 pre- and postmenopausal women with breast cancer and a group of matched healthy people. Intake of fresh mushrooms (at least 10 grams per day) and dried mushrooms (at least 4 grams per day) decreased the risk by 64 percent and 47 percent, respectively. The most commonly eaten mushroom in this study was the white button mushroom; one small white button mushroom weighs 10 grams. An additional protective effect was seen when mushrooms and green tea were both consumed.

Zhang M, Huang J, Xie X, Holman CD. Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. Int J Cancer. 2009;124:1404-1408.

Cooking Method Affects Vegetables’ Cancer-Fighting Power
The best way to protect cancer-fighting compounds in cooked vegetables may be to griddle-cook or microwave, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Science. The study found that for most vegetables, cooking on a griddle with no added oil or microwaving maintains the highest levels of antioxidants, which help protect against cancer. Pressure-cooking and boiling lead to the greatest losses, and frying, in addition to increasing fat content, results in intermediate antioxidant loss.

The artichoke was the only vegetable that maintained antioxidant levels with all cooking methods. Beetroot, green beans, and garlic maintained high antioxidant activity after most cooking methods. Celery and carrots actually had increased protective value after all cooking methods. 

Jiménez-Monreal AM, García-Diz L, et al. Influence of cooking methods on antioxidant activity of vegetables. Journal of Food Science. 2009;74:97-103.

The Cancer ProjectThe Cancer Project is a nonprofit PCRM subsidiary that advances cancer prevention and survival through nutrition education and research.

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