It seems every time I look at headline news, I feel like I’m reading the National Enquirer.
Sensationalism. Drama. Fear-mongering. Exaggeration. And extremely one-sided, slanted reporting.
The latest headline that caught my eye was all the above.
“Study links common drink to skin cancer.”
This study, performed by researchers from Brown University’s Warren Albert Medical School, apparently showed that drinking citrus juices (such as orange or grapefruit juice) may increase your risk of developing the deadliest form of skin cancer--melanoma.
But alas, when you actually read the entire article, and you’re smart enough to do a little math, and you have strong knowledge of nutrition and health J, the National Enquirer imitation becomes abundantly clear.
Here’s what I mean.
What the study showed
This study was not a new study but a rehashing of the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Apparently, the researchers looked at daily consumption of fruit juices and other dietary information from 63,810 women and 41,622 men from the 2 studies over a span of 25 years.
Out of the 105,432 citrus juice drinkers, 1,840 reported having contracted melanoma during that 25 year-period.
In other words, 1.7 percent of the people got melanoma, or just under 2 people out of 100.
What the study DIDN’T show
While any risk of getting cancer is never good, when you consider that, according to the American Cancer Society, the average man has a 39.6 percent chance of being diagnosed with cancer in his lifetime, and women have a 37.7 percent chance, the 1.7 percent risk of melanoma seems pretty miniscule in comparison.
And the big question here is what the study didn’t show!
For example, what did these people eat or drink besides citrus juices? Specifically, what was their consumption of:
- Sugar (which feeds cancer cells) or
- Trans-fats, margarine and vegetable oils (that stir up inflammation, which is an underlying factor behind cancer) or
- Refined carbs and soda (that feed harmful microbes in your gut and weaken your immune functioning, which increases your cancer risk)?
In addition, did their diets include a lot of fiber-rich, alkaline fruits and vegetables, or were they mainly acidic foods, especially processed and fast foods? The more acidic your body is, the more attractive home you are to cancer. Cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment but thrives in an acidic body.
Plus medications can play a role too, especially immunosuppressive drugs (which are commonly prescribed for autoimmune conditions). They shut down your immune system and thus raise your risk of cancer because your immune system cannot protect you the way it should. Were any of the study subject on those medications? I’d want to know that.
Without all these questions answered (and more), the statement that citrus juice consumption increases cancer risk is not only misleading but downright irresponsible.
The point here is this article was nothing but fear-mongering, drama and sensationalism all in the interest of getting headline clicks.
But what frustrates me is that many people will just see the headline, or read only a bit of the article, and think that citrus juice—a generally healthy substance, especially when fresh-squeezed—is bad for them!
It’s no wonder no one knows what to eat anymore!
Well, my friend, you are lucky because you have me to help you decipher all this garbage, and to give you some trustworthy advice.
Here are three simple suggestions to keep you on a good healthy diet track:
Keep it real
Simply put, at least 80 percent of what you eat should be real foods.
Real foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry, fish (wild-caught), dairy, eggs and good fats (like olive oil, real butter and coconut oil).
When you eat real foods, your body gets better nourished, and when you're properly nourished, these things can be your reality:
- You’ll naturally get full faster, eat less overall, and stay full longer (which can make weight problems a thing of the past).
- You’ll have more consistent energy throughout the day and won’t be tempted to indulge in unhealthy refined carb pick-me-ups like soda, chips or candy.
- All of your body’s systems will be able to work the way they’re supposed to, which makes you a much less likely home for diseases (including cancer) to flourish.
If you need a little help with this, my Great Taste No Pain health system will guide you on enjoying a healthy, real foods diet, teach you about good versus bad carbs and fats, and most importantly, show you how to pair foods together in your meals to promote better digestion, and less gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation!
What you drink matters too
You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water a day.
Now, if you love citrus juice, that’s fine, but remember that, while a glass of juice has appreciable nutrients like vitamin C, it also contains a boatload of sugar. That’s why it’s preferable to eat the whole fruit (like an orange or grapefruit) versus drinking juice. That way, you get the fiber and other components of the fruit, plus a lower dose of sugar.
If you wish to drink juice, limit it to ½ cup per day, and choose fresh-squeezed over canned or bottled juices, and frozen juice concentrate.
Other beverages are acceptable in moderation (such as one cup of coffee or a glass of wine or beer), but please, at all cost, DO NOT DRINK SODA. It is poison in a can (or bottle) and will do nothing but pack the pounds on you and make you an attractive home for cancer (and other diseases).
Support your gut microbiome
Sugars, processed foods and refined carbs all take a toll on your gut microbiome, and without a strong population of helpful intestinal microbes, you are lacking in immune system protection (as well as likely loaded with gas, bloating and constipation).
But a top-shelf multi-strain probiotic supplement like Super Shield can help turn that around for you and restore a healthier flora balance.
Super Shield contains a full-spectrum blend of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains—this is crucial because Lactobacillus strains reside in your small intestine and Bifidobacteria live in the large intestine. So to have a formula that contains only one or the other is selling your system short, and likely keeping you from feeling as great as you could!
Having a strong gut microbiome helps to pave the way for more regular BMs, a robust immune system, better nutrient absorption and even healthy cholesterol and better moods!
Now you are armed with information you can take to the bank!
Not exaggeration, fear-mongering or drama—just real, honest to goodness health advice from your favorite holistic nutrition coach!
To your health,