From American Institute for Cancer Research with comments from John Sacco, MD, a radiation oncologist with OHC

February 27, 2018

The American Institute for Cancer Research’s (AICR) Cancer Prevention Awareness Survey found that less than half of Americans know what a cancer protective diet looks like, yet research shows that eating plenty of plant foods and less red meat can help reduce risk.

For lower cancer risk, focus on your whole diet and resist the temptation of the latest superfood or popular diet. Use AICR’s New American Plate method: fill at least 2/3 with vegetables, whole grains, beans and other plant foods, and allow 1/3 or less for animal foods. Whether you stick to three meals or snack your way through the day, each time you eat you can balance your choices for reducing risk. Get started now:

  1. Make a positive start to your day with energy boosting, nutrient rich food choices.
    • Omelet with veggies and whole grain toast (See recipe below.)
    • Yogurt or oatmeal with nuts and berries
    • Protein-rich smoothie
  2. Maintain your focus at lunch with smart and colorful choices that keep you going strong.
    • Veggie-packed soup and whole wheat pita stuffed with tuna salad
    • Bean, avocado, veggie burrito and a piece of fruit
    • Chicken with brown rice and a leafy green salad
  3. Your evening meal offers a chance to slow down and dig in to a colorful, delicious and healthful meal.
    • Stir Fry Recipe OHC cancer prevention dietStir-fry chicken or meat strips with chopped veggies like colorful bell peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, carrots and kale. Serve over quinoa, whole-wheat couscous or brown rice. (See recipe below.)
    • Make a quick veggie stew with canned beans, frozen vegetables, tomatoes, broth and your favorite chili spices. While that simmers, use a whole grain cornbread mix to bake a batch of muffins.
    • Bake fish fillets alongside cubed sweet potatoes. Then add a tossed salad for an easy healthy meal.
  4. Make snack time count too.
    • Nuts and roasted seeds offer a satisfying crunch along with protein, fiber and healthful fats.
    • Apples, grapes, tangerines and cut melon are convenient snacks that satisfy a sweet craving
    • Colorful raw veggies and hummus is a classic healthy snack to keep on hand, especially if you tend toward munching your way through the day.

AICR funds cutting-edge research and give people practical tools and information to help them prevent — and survive — cancer.

Betty Crocker’s Veggie Stuffed Omelet (feature photo)
© 2018 ®/™General Mills. All Rights Reserved.

1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped onion
¼ cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup loosely packed fresh baby spinach leaves, rinsed
½ cup fat-free egg product or 2 eggs, beaten SAVE $
1 tablespoon water SAVE $
Dash salt
Dash pepper
1 tablespoon shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese


  1. In 8-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion and mushrooms to oil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Stir in spinach; continue cooking and stirring just until spinach wilts. Remove vegetables from pan to small bowl.
  2. In medium bowl, beat egg product, water, salt and pepper with fork or whisk until well mixed. Reheat same skillet over medium-high heat. Quickly pour egg mixture into pan. While sliding pan back and forth rapidly over heat, quickly stir with spatula to spread eggs continuously over bottom of pan as they thicken. Let stand over heat a few seconds to lightly brown bottom of omelet. Do not overcook; omelet will continue to cook after folding.
  3. Place cooked vegetable mixture over half of omelet; top with cheese. With spatula, fold other half of omelet over vegetables. Gently slide out of pan onto plate. Serve immediately.

Chicken and Vegetable Quinoa Stir-fry (pictured above)
From Adapted from a recipe in Self Magazine.

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 small carrot, cut into 1-inch lengths, julienned
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch lengths, julienned
2 tsp grated ginger root
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/8 tsp mild red pepper flakes
2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli florets, snow peas, asparagus, etc.)
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 large egg, beaten
4 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime


  1. Cook the quinoa in a rice cooker, or on the stovetop according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and bell pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the red pepper flakes and mixed vegetables, plus the black pepper.
  3. Remove vegetables from the wok and set aside. Return the pan to heat, and add 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the quinoa and egg, and stir-fry to cook the egg, 30 seconds. Return the vegetables to the pan along with the chicken, scallions, cilantro, soy sauce and lime juice. Stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
  4. Serve hot, or at room temperature. Serves 4.
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