The Role of Plant-Based Nutrition in Cancer Prevention
Cancer is a leading cause of death globally, with about one-third of cases due to five leading behavioral and dietary risks including smoking, low fruit and vegetable intake, and lack of physical activity.¹ In the United States, research has revealed that 80,000 cancer cases are attributed to poor diet alone, independent of other contributing risk factors. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), an estimated 40% of cancer cases could be prevented by implementing healthy lifestyle and dietary changes, with a focus on eating more plants. This eye-opening revelation has led cancer researchers to further explore the role of a plant-based diet in cancer prevention.
According to the AICR’s Third Expert Report, phytochemicals, which are abundant in plant foods, can help to protect cells in the body from damage that can lead to cancer. The intake of plants, such as fruits and vegetables, provides humans with thousands of phytochemicals, which are anti-inflammatory. Some of these powerful phytochemicals include dietary fiber, carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols and plant sterols, many of which have been shown in studies to have various anti-cancer properties and therefore, may have a beneficial effect against cancer in humans.
Which Plant-Based Approach is Best?
Since the definition of “plant-based” isn’t clearly established, it can be confusing for individuals and clinicians to know which plant-based approach is best. Research has suggested that all plant-based diets, including vegan and pesco-vegetarian, can be cancer protective. One study evaluated the association of a non-vegetarian dietary pattern and vegetarian dietary pattern, including vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and semi-vegetarian, and incident of colorectal cancer. The findings reported that all vegetarian dietary patterns were associated with overall lower incidence of colorectal cancers, with pesco-vegetarians in particular having a much lower risk compared to non-vegetarians.2 It was also suggested that the decreased consumption of red meat and processed meats, which has been linked to colorectal cancer,3 and the higher intake of whole plant foods and dietary fiber may have contributed to the reduction in cancer risk. While vegan diets have been classified as one of the more effective plant-based dietary approaches for long-term health, the AICR reports that there is limited evidence to recommend a vegan diet specifically to reduce cancer risk. No matter which plant-based diet an individual chooses to follow, one important principle to keep in mind is to choose whole foods and foods with minimal processing and little added sugar and fat.
Helping Individuals Transition to a Cancer-Protective Plate
With nearly 40% of Americans trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet, nutrition experts have the opportunity to help guide individuals in adopting a balanced approach while transitioning to a plant-based diet. The AICR’s New American Plate model emphasizes foods that can reduce risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. The approach includes covering 2/3 of a plate with plant foods and 1/3 with lean animal-based protein-rich foods. Individuals should be encouraged to eat a diet that is rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and pulses, such as beans and lentils and limit consumption of processed foods, red meat, and other foods that are high in fat, starch and sugar. In addition, they should be encouraged to drink plenty of water, limit alcohol consumption and focus on consuming unsweetened beverages versus those that are rich in sugar.
Orgain Offers Good, Clean Plant-Based Nutrition
As a cancer survivor and medical doctor, Orgain’s founder, Dr. Andrew Abraham knows with firsthand experience the critical importance of organic, wholesome nutrition and the vital role it plays in supporting the body in times of stress. Orgain offers good, clean nutrition in a variety of plant-based products to support individuals seeking to follow a plant-forward approach to eating, including the Vegan All-In-One Nutrition Shake, 20g Plant-Based Protein Shake, Orgain Protein Plant-Based Protein Powder, Orgain Meal Powder and our newest plant-based product, Orgain Simple Plant-Based Protein Powder.
Here is a testimonial from one of our valued healthcare professionals about the successful use of Orgain with the oncology population.
“Working with the oncology populations, I know just how detrimental it can be to not consume adequate calories and protein. Unfortunately, many of my patients and clients are at risk of becoming malnourished because their caloric demand is increased. Orgain allows these individuals the chance to add more nutrition in a clean, wholesome and nutritious way! I feel confident using Orgain as a tool in my toolbox to help optimize my patients and clients’ nutritional status. Orgain wants to help individuals as much as I do – and I really appreciate that!” – Rayna, Oncology Dietitian
1 Cancer. (2018), from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer
2 Orlich, M.J., JAMA Intern Med. 2015; 175(5): 767-776, doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.59
3 Aykan, N.F., Oncol Rev. 2015; 9(1): 288, doi: 10.4081/oncol.2015.288
Announcing the Winners of the Orgain Clean-It-Up Recipe Contest!
Over the last few months, Orgain hosted a recipe contest for healthcare professionals to showcase their creativity in the kitchen using pantry staples and at least one Orgain product. We were inspired by all the unique ways Orgain products were utilized, and equally enjoyed reading the stories behind each submission.
Entries were judged based on creativity, use of clean and commonly available ingredients and ease of preparation. Five winners were selected and each will receive a $250 Orgain prize package, have their recipes featured on Healthcare.Orgain.com under the new Recipes by Professionals tab and shared on Facebook! Without further ado, meet the five winners and their winning recipes! Click on each recipe title to view the complete details:
Brittany Swygart, RDN, LD: Peanut Butter Protein Buckeyes
Katie Cleary, RDN: Healthy Lemon Protein Bites
Angie Lord, RDN, RYT-200: Banana Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats
Kyla Kurczewski, RDN, LD, CPT: Strawberry Bliss Balls
Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RDN, FAND: Decadent Double Chocolate Chia Pudding
Medical, Health & Wellness Applications
Orgain provides good, clean nutrition that supports the nutritional needs of individuals on a variety of medical journeys or those that are seeking to optimize their health and wellness. Click here to get an up-close look at our new, downloadable resource – Medical, Health & Wellness Applications – to learn about when to consider using Orgain in nutrition interventions, according to feedback from our valued community of credentialed Healthcare Ambassadors. Let’s support better health, together!
Upcoming Live Webinars
See below for more information on how to register for upcoming live webinars or visit our Professional Education Series homepage to watch previous webinars on demand—available 24/7 for your convenience. As always, all the Orgain Professional Education Series of Webinars CPEUs free of charge!
Jean LaMantia, RD (Presenter)
Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs September 24, 2020 at 2pm EDT
Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS, RD (Presenter)
Approved for 1.0 CPEU for RDNs and DTRs December 9, 2020 at 2pm EDT
“As an oncology dietitian, many of my patients and families have expressed a desire to use more natural nutrition supplements during their treatments. Many patients are interested in reducing their overall intake of added sugars and processed ingredients. I recommend Orgain supplements to many of my patients given the use of real fruits and vegetables, non-GMO ingredients, and lower amounts of sugar compared to the conventional brands. Including Orgain products on our formulary has been a great option for patients and families who are looking for nutrition supplement options outside of the conventional brands.”