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Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Expert Q&A: The Anti-Cancer Diet

An interview with Karen Collins, MS, RD.
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Some people could find that diet hard to follow. What would you say to them? continued...

For instance, if you could just cut out 200 calories a day – calories you eat out of habit, not hunger – you will lose weight, and that will lower your risk. If the idea of working out 30 to 60 minutes a day seems ridiculous, just try to add in 10-minute walks twice a day.

Now, you won’t get as much cancer protection benefit by making small steps as you would if you followed the full recommendations. But you can still make a difference. You’re much better off doing something to lower your risk of cancer than doing nothing.

Has eating a healthy diet always come naturally for you? Are there any foods that you find hard to resist?

I actually grew up a vegetable and fruit hater. As a kid, the only ones I’d eat were applesauce, potatoes, bananas, corn, and iceberg lettuce. And even as a teenager, it didn’t get much better than that. But as I got older, the more nutrition I studied,  the more I came to realize how important vegetables and fruits are. I just made up my mind that it was important to eat more of them, but decided I wasn't going to suffer. So I set about experimenting, making all kinds of vegetables in a wide variety of ethnic and other flavorful styles. Now the vegetables are usually my favorite food in the meal. Change is possible!

I do have a sweet tooth, and I especially love chocolate. But I don't try to make it "forbidden,” since I know I'd just crave it more and go overboard. For me the solution comes down to the obvious -- I don't keep sweets around the house. So I get something sweet occasionally when we're entertaining or when I know I will really sit and enjoy it. Or I might order a dessert when we eat out.  But strangely, when something's not here in the home, I rarely crave it. 

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Reviewed on November 25, 2008

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