Nothing strikes terror into a woman’s heart quite like breast cancer.
The statistics are breathtaking: 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer – who among us hasn’t either experienced breast cancer or known someone who has?
Recently, as part of my podcast series, I had the chance to sit down with Rachel Beller, celebrity nutritionist, and two-time author about the connection between diet and breast cancer.
Rachel has dedicated her life’s work to the connection between diet and breast cancer. Before starting her own practice, Rachel was a researcher for the Women’s Interventional Nutritional Study (WINS). What Rachel’s research taught her is that there is an undeniable link between diet and breast cancer, but perhaps most exciting, that we can help ourselves with small, meaningful changes accessible to us all, regardless of whether we have a nutritionist (Listen to the entire podcast below).
It was quite moving to hear Rachel discuss her work with breast cancer survivors. She finds this work to be incredibly rewarding because it underscores the connection between diet, weight loss, and cancer.
If you’re like me, you’re sometimes suspicious of all the conversations around the connection between diet and breast cancer, but what makes Rachel different is she knows the science behind all the claims. During our conversation, she was very careful to say there’s no single food solution or philosophy, but also that she’s seen radical transformations in her patients. Weight loss is among the happy side-benefits of her healthy eating program, Power Perks.
One of the most fascinating parts of our conversation was Rachel’s outlook on how diet affects the genetic likelihood of cancer. We discussed how certain foods may slow cancer or help prevent it from recurring and diet plays a role, even when there is a family history. I found this connection between diet and breast cancer to be empowering because sometimes it feels that family history creates a sense of destiny, but Rachel helped me see that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
One of Rachel’s greatest tips was about fiber.
Regardless of whether you’re concerned about cancer or not, as Rachel reminded me, “everyone can upgrade,” their diet. It may surprise even those of us who enjoy eating healthy what we can do to take better care of our health. Rachel estimates only 3% of us are getting our daily required fiber intake of 35 grams. For example, did you know if you ate 9 huge salads a day, you might get 35 grams of fiber? It really made me think about my diet and I love salads. It shocked me when she broke it down for us. But Rachel also gave great hints and tips about how whole foods can easily be integrated into our meals to help us get that fiber that’s so essential to our health.
Then Rachel took us through what her food day looks like and it was remarkably simple. In particular, I liked her tip of starting your day with at least 10 grams of fiber at breakfast. You can do the same by adding one pear (6g fiber), an apple (4g fiber), a kiwi (2.3g fiber), or a a Multigrain Wasa cracker (3g fiber). Rachel also gave us some great hints and tips of foods we can easily use and ways to make your diet change practical, even if you’re like me and you enjoy eating out. Rachel also shared with us her philosophy those diet bars or fiber bars and encouraged us all to look to inexpensive, whole foods to add much-needed fiber. Once you get a chance to hear Rachel, you’ll see, her small daily choices add up to big health benefits, darlings.
At the top of our conversation, I shared with Rachel that I didn’t feel the need to have a nutritionist, but after listening to her, I walked away feeling it would be a great idea for many of us, after all, nutritionists are scientific experts and can save us a lot of time and money and help us focus on what we need to do for our particular diets and lifestyle. I had to ask Rachel what I should look for in a diet consultant or a nutritionist. She cautioned me to be wary of claims not backed by scientific research. I had to ask: why people succeed or fail at diet change? Rachel said her most successful clients value the accountability and that even checking in quarterly helps her clients stay on track.
Most inspiring was Rachel’s description of what to expect after making some of these diet changes: women feel empowered and healthier, they describe having more energy and reduced tolerance or cravings for processed foods.
Listening to the podcast is very easy, you can do it from your phone or your computer by clicking on this link. I hope you’ll dive right in and listen to the wonderful conversation Rachel and I had by listening to the podcast. Darlings, I know you will feel inspired and excited about all the possibilities and how easy it is to take care of yourself with Rachel’s tips.
About Rachel Beller of The Beller Nutrition Institute
Celebrity Nutritionist and two-time best-selling author. Rachel Beller is a registered dietitian and founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute. She specializes in breast cancer prevention. She has a lot of tips easy to incorporate into your everyday life. Rachel is the go-to nutrition expert for Good Morning America (she’s Robin Roberts nutritionist). You can learn more about Rachel and her Power Perks system for weight loss or cancer survivors on her website. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook or her other social networks listed on her site.