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Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Impact on Cancer

Here at Savor Health we support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help reduce cancer risk. The Guidelines offer specific key recommendations to achieve a healthy eating pattern.

Healthy eating and daily physical activity helps with weight maintenance.  Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of chronic disease like cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy, and engaging in physical activity daily can reduce the risk of cancer by up to 30%.  


What we should include in our diet?

  • A variety of vegetables from all the subgroups: dark green, red, orange, legumes, starchy, and others
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grain
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein-based foods (plant-based or lean cuts of meat)
  • Healthy oils instead of choices that include saturated or trans fats


What we should limit

  • Limit saturated fats and trans fat (fats that are most often found in animal products and baked goods)
  • Limit added sugars and sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Limit sodium intake, especially from foods that are processed with sodium

Many of us know what to eat and we know we should fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans. We know we should limit sweets, cakes, pies, desserts and sodas. BUT do we know how?  


But what does “limit” mean?

  • Consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars
  • Consume less than 10% of calories per day from saturated fats
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day of sodium
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation (up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men)


But what does that mean?

This is where it can be tricky. It is all based on how many calories your body needs per day. Someone who needs 1500 calories per day, should limit her grams of added sugars to less than 37 grams. In contrast, someone who needs 2000 calories per day should limit added sugars to less than 50 grams of added sugar.  

A 12-ounce soda has 33 grams of added sugars. These added sugars are found in many foods like breakfast cereal, granola bars, coffee creamer, yogurt, chocolate, desserts, etc.  

I highly recommend finding a registered dietitian to help you make an eating plan. Here at Savor Health we have oncology specific registered dietitian to help you.



Access the full 2015 Dietary Guideline Report here:


Angela Hummel

Angela is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). She studied nutrition at Central Michigan University, where she completed her bachelor’s degree, dietetic internship, and master’s degree. Angela has worked in the inpatient, outpatient, and community oncology settings since 2005 and currently works part time at the Reading Health System. Angela’s passion to help oncology patients has developed from learning the nutritional demands of cancer and seeing the improvement that nutritional modification can provide. Angela is part of the clinical team at Savor Health where she counsels patients on oncology nutrition issues and contributes to clinical website and other Savor Health content.

1 Comment
  1. Thanks for the summary. I am also a Registered/Licensed Clinical Dietitian and I work with oncology patients at one of the largest health systems in the US. There are so many unfortunate cancer diagnoses, diet and overall health can be a preventative measure.

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