Read an Excerpt
The American Cancer Society's Healthy Eating Cookbook
A Celebration of Food, Friends, and Healthy Living
By Amy Brittain
The American Cancer SocietyCopyright © 2005 American Cancer Society
All rights reserved.
Eating Well, Living Well
Eating well — it's just one step on the path to better health. And the American Cancer Society is here to help you along the way, pointing you in the right direction when it comes to healthier eating. Even small changes in the way you prepare foods can have a real impact on your health!
There are lots of simple, daily steps you can take to help reduce your risk of cancer (as well as heart disease and diabetes). The good news is that these healthy choices will also help you feel better, look better, and give your body plenty of energy for your busy life.
It's deliciously easy to start eating well and living well. Why not start today on that path to better health? Let's get cooking!
About the New Edition
Throughout this book you'll find helpful ideas for incorporating these guidelines into your cooking and eating habits. The third edition of The American Cancer Society's Healthy Eating Cookbook reflects the most up-to-date recommendations for reducing your cancer risk through healthy eating, but you'll still find all of your favorite recipes — including many celebrities' personal recipes for delicious, healthy dishes.
We've also included healthy substitutions, and added Simple Tips in the Kitchen, quick ways to judge portion sizes, and smart grocery shopping tips to help you eat and cook for better health.
Eat Your Way to Better Health
The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention are a good place to start on your path to healthy living. Following these guidelines — for example, eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and limiting foods high in saturated fat, sugar, and calories — can help you eat your way to better health.
The American Cancer Society's Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention
1. Eat a variety of healthy foods, with an emphasis on plant sources.
Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day.
Choose whole grains over processed (refined) grains and sugars.
Limit your consumption of red meats, especially processed meats and those high in fat.
Choose foods that help you maintain a healthy weight.
2. Adopt a physically active lifestyle.
Adults: Be active for at least 30 minutes on five or more days per week. The more active you can be, the better!
Children and adolescents: Be active for at least 60 minutes on five or more days per week.
3. Maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
Lose weight if you are currently overweight by eating fewer calories and being more active.
4. If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit your consumption.
Pass the Produce, Please
Eating more vegetables and fruits as part of a healthy diet can help your heart and reduce your cancer risk. Vegetables and fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants (compounds that block damage to healthy cells), and they are generally low in fat and calories. Try to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day. (Sound like a lot? Serving sizes are fairly small, so it might not be as tough as it seems.) Focus on colorful vegetables and fruits (for example, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, oranges, strawberries, and kiwi), which offer nutrient-packed, cancer-fighting compounds.
Think you can get the same health benefits by taking a vitamin or mineral supplement? Not so — there's lots of evidence that eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can reduce cancer risk, but no evidence at this time that supplements can.
Simple Tips in the Kitchen
Here are a few ways to up your intake of fruits and vegetables:
Add fresh or dried fruits to leafy green salads. Try chopped apples, raisins, kiwi, or orange sections.
Top your cereal with fresh fruit, like banana slices or berries.
Add chopped carrots, broccoli, or a mix of your favorite vegetables to soups, salads, and casseroles.
Boost your fiber intake by adding your favorite canned or dried beans to soups, stews, and salads.
WHAT COUNTS AS A SERVING?
1 medium piece of fruit
½ cup chopped, cooked canned or frozen fruit
¾ cup 100% fruit juice
1 cup raw leafy vegetables
½ cup chopped, cooked canned or frozen vegetables
½ cup cooked dry beans
¾ cup 100% vegetable juice
Confused about carbohydrates? Grain products like breads, rice, cereals, and pasta are still an important part of a healthy diet. Try to eat whole grains for at least half of your daily grain servings. When you look at ingredient labels, look for whole wheat, pumpernickel, rye, oatmeal, or other whole grain as the first ingredient. This is a sign that the product is a reliable source of good-for-you fiber.
The type of carbohydrates to limit are refined grains (white bread and white rice, for example) and foods high in sugar like cakes, cookies, and pastries. Replacing these carbohydrates with healthier whole grains will add more nutrients to your diet and help you cut back on calories too.
Simple Tips in the Kitchen
Here are some ideas to help you incorporate more healthy grains into your diet:
Substitute whole-wheat flour for half (or more) of the white flour called for in a recipe.
Add one-quarter cup bran or oatmeal to meat loaf and other casseroles.
Make muffins using oatmeal, bran, or whole-wheat flour.
Use whole cornmeal when making cornbread.
Try whole-wheat pasta for a healthy fiber boost.
The Skinny on Fat
For years you've heard that low-fat diets are the way to go to improve your health. But it may be more important to consider the type of fat in your diet rather than the total amount of fat. We now know that you can do your heath a favor by limiting how much saturated and trans fat you eat and incorporating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in your diet.
Eating a diet high in saturated fat increases your risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer. This is the type of fat found primarily in red meats and dairy products, so cutting back on beef, lamb, and pork will help reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Choosing lower-fat dairy products like skim milk, fat-free yogurt, and reduced-fat cheeses will help too, and will still provide you with the important calcium and protein you need.
Trans fats are another type of fat to avoid because they are bad for your heart. These fats are found in margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, and other foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (check the label on packaged food before you buy to see if partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are listed as an ingredient).
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are heart-healthier fats and do not increase cancer risk. Monounsatured fats are found mainly in canola and olive oils, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are found in other vegetable oils, soft (tub) margarine, tofu, and nuts. To further reduce your intake of saturated fat, substitute healthier oils for butter or lard.
Omega-3 fatty acids, another type of polyunsaturated fat, are found in high-fat fish like salmon, mackerel, and albacore tuna. Eating fish a few times a week in place of red meat is a great way to boost your health.
Bottom line: the type of fat you eat is most important to consider, but keep in mind that high-fat foods tend to be high in calories, so watch your portion sizes!
Simple Tips in the Kitchen
Here are some quick tips for reducing the saturated fat in your meals:
Use evaporated skim milk instead of whole milk or cream in baked goods, sauces, and soups.
Use reduced-fat yogurt to replace all or part of the sour cream or mayonnaise in a recipe.
Substitute fat-free cottage cheese for ricotta cheese in casseroles.
Choose lean meats — look for "loin" or "round" in the name of the cut.
Trim fat from meat before you cook it. Cook poultry with the skin on to keep it moist, but remove the skin before eating.
LOSE THE FAT, NOT THE FLAVOR
Not sure which spices will add the right zip to meals? Try spicing up your favorite low-fat dishes with these fresh herbs and spices for a punch of flavor.
Basil: tomato dishes, soups, salads
Chili powder: beans, poultry, soups, stews
Cilantro: tomato dishes, beans, salads, corn
Cinnamon: winter squash, sweet potatoes, cooked fruit, baked goods
Cloves: cooked fruits, carrots, squash, poultry
Dill: fish, rice dishes, salad dressings, potatoes
Ginger: cooked fruits, seafood, vegetable stir-fry, breads
Marjoram: fruit juice, potatoes, poultry, meat
Nutmeg: beans, apple dishes, seafood, meat
Oregano: tomato dishes, broccoli, poultry, seafood
Sage: soups, stews, stuffing, vegetables
Thyme: beans, tomato dishes, poultry
Calories Still Count
"Eat this!" "Don't eat that!" With so much information and advice available about what we should or shouldn't eat to improve our health, we may forget that watching calories is essential for controlling our weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is important in reducing cancer risk, and when it comes to keeping down your weight, calories count! Substituting vegetables, fruits, and other low-calorie foods for foods high in calories, fat, and added sugar can help you cut back on calories. Another key? Watching your portion sizes, especially of foods high in fat and added sugar.
What a Standard Portion Size Looks Like
Do you know what a half cup of pasta looks like on your plate? How high one cup of milk fills your glass? How many ounces of cereal you typically pour into your bowl? If not, get out the measuring cups, spoons, and scale. Measure your meals for a week or so to see what a standard portion looks like in your own plates, bowls, and glasses. Here's a handy set of shortcuts that may help you judge how much you're eating:
A half-cup serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist.
A medium apple is the size of a baseball.
A three-ounce portion of meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.
A single-serving bagel is the size of a hockey puck.
One and a half ounces of low-fat or fat-free cheese is the size of a pair of dice.
One tablespoon of peanut butter is about the size of the tip of your thumb.
Try these other tips at home to help keep calories under control:
Serve appropriate portion sizes and store the rest for leftovers.
Rather than placing serving dishes on the table (tempting you to eat more during the meal), serve in the kitchen.
Trade in your dinner plate for your salad plate. Serving your meals on a smaller plate will give the illusion that you are eating larger portions.
Avoid eating directly out of a bag or carton; consider buying foods packaged in individual serving sizes to help you control portions.
Your Start to Living Smart
Congratulations! You've taken the first step to a healthier lifestyle. Just a few simple changes in your everyday diet can add up to better health — without sacrificing flavor or time. Let the more than 300 delicious recipes in the pages that follow keep you on track. The American Cancer Society's Healthy Eating Cookbook can make it fun to eat right!
Making Your Favorite Recipes Even Better
Most of your favorite recipes can easily be changed to include more vegetables, fruits, and fiber and cut down the fat and calories. Try the following steps when altering recipes.
Step 1: Increase the vegetables, fruits, and fiber.
Add chopped or precut vegetables.
Add chopped fresh or dried fruits.
Use whole grains for all of part of the recipe.
When possible, leave skins on fruits and vegetables.
Step 2: Lower the amount of fat and calories.
Ask yourself: "Can I reduce or replace oil? Can I use low-fat milk instead of cream?" You can also reduce fat by trying the methods below.
You can usually cut fats like oil, butter, or margarines by one-third to one-half in recipes. Try a small cutback at first, then cut back little by little when you make the recipe again.
To replace some moisture and flavor loss when reducing fat, make up the difference with broth, nonfat milk, fruit juice, and extra herbs, spices, and vegetables.
For a moist baked product when reducing fat, add dried fruits or applesauce.
Remember to use measuring spoons and cups to avoid guessing how much oil to use. An extra teaspoon of oil is 45 calories and five grams of fat.
Use only small amounts of high-fat foods like avocado, coconut, cheese, and nuts.
Step 3: Cut back on high-fat meats.
Replace red meat with leaner cuts or meats that are lower in fat. For example, if a recipe calls for ground beef, use extra-lean ground beef, ground sirloin, or ground turkey breast mixed with lean ground beef.
Watch your portion size. Aim for three ounces (the size of a deck of cards).
Keep in mind that healthy eating is only part of the recipe for a healthy lifestyle. Try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes on five or more days per week — walking, swimming, gardening, even dancing counts. The important thing is to find something you enjoy doing — and have fun!
For more information on living a healthier life, contact the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345 or visit us at www.cancer.org. With these smart steps, you can look forward to a healthier future!
Shopping List: Basic Ingredients for a Healthy Kitchen
The first step to cooking healthy is to stock your kitchen with a variety of foods that you can throw together for healthy meals in a hurry. Keep these foods on hand for fast meals on busy nights.
In the Cupboard
* Whole-grain cereals, oatmeal
* Beans: black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, lentils, refried
* Rice: brown, long-grain, rice mixes
* Pasta: whole-wheat spaghetti, fettucini, penne, bowtie
* Other grains: couscous, orzo, cornmeal, whole-wheat bread and crackers, bread crumbs
* Onions, garlic
* Canned tomatoes: diced, whole, seasoned, sun-dried, sauce, paste
* Canned vegetables, mixed vegetables, green beans, mushrooms, other favorites
* Canned and dried fruits: applesauce, cranberries, other favorites
* Sauces: pasta, pizza, salsa
* Soups: low-fat and low-sodium canned soups, broth, bouillon, and dried soup mixes
* Meats: canned tuna, salmon, minced clams, chicken
* Peanut butter
* Evaporated milk
* Your favorite herbs and spices
* Oils: olive, canola, peanut, and nonfat cooking spray
In the Refrigerator
* Vegetables and fruits
* 100% vegetable and fruit juices
* Low-fat milk and yogurt (low in added sugar)
* Cheeses (reduced fat, when possible): cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Monterey Jack, cottage, Parmesan
* Whole-wheat and corn tortillas
* Minced garlic
* Sauces: Worcestershire, soy, teriyaki, and chili
* Ketchup and mustard (spicy and dijon)
* Salad dressings made with olive oil or that are reduced fat
* Reduced-fat sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese
* Vinegars: cider, red and white wine, balsamic
* Fresh herbs
In the Freezer
* Frozen vegetables, fruits and 100 % juices
* Frozen chopped onions and chopped green peppers
* Breads: whole-grain breads, dinner rolls, English muffins, bagels
* Meats: chicken breast, ground turkey breast, extra lean hamburger
* Seafood: red snapper, salmon, orange roughy, cod, flounder, sole, shrimp, scallopsCHAPTER 2
Healthy Spinach Dip
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 to 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon (or more) fresh dill, minced or ¼
teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (optional)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Drain spinach and mix with yogurt in a medium bowl. In a blender, purée cottage cheese with enough milk to make the consistency of sour cream. Add parsley, green onions, mayonnaise, dill, seasoned salt, and pepper to spinach mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours to overnight. Makes 14 (1/4 cup) servings.
* Approx. per serving: 70 calories; 1 gram of fat
Easy Spinach Dip
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, or 1 pound
fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup low-fat sour cream or low-fat small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup scallions (including tops), finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
If using fresh spinach, wash and trim stems. Boil in a large saucepan or steam spinach until wilted, then drain thoroughly and chop. If using frozen spinach, squeeze by hand to remove all moisture or wrap in paper towels and squeeze. In a bowl, combine spinach, sour cream or cottage cheese, yogurt, parsley, scallions, salt, and pepper to taste and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to blend flavors. Makes 2 cups.
* Approx. per serving: 60 calories; 4 grams of fat
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon cumin or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons hot water
1 19-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
Chopped fresh parsley
Combine tahini, cumin, salt, and garlic in a small bowl. While mixing, slowly pour in lemon juice, then hot water. Purée garbanzo beans in a blender or a food processor, or pass through a food mill. Add tahini mixture to purée and process or mix well. Season to taste. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with fresh vegetables or toasted pita bread. Makes 1 ½ cups.
* Approx. per serving: 104 calories; 4 grams of fat
2 ripe avocados, skinned and mashed
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mash the avocado well and stir together with lemon juice, onions, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for one hour before serving. Makes 10 servings.
* Approx. per serving: 80 calories; 8 grams of fat
Excerpted from The American Cancer Society's Healthy Eating Cookbook by Amy Brittain. Copyright © 2005 American Cancer Society. Excerpted by permission of The American Cancer Society.
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