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Whole Grain Benefits

Foods to eat and avoid



Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a type of breast cancer that has no receptors for the hormones estrogen or progesterone, or for a protein called HER2. As such, TNBC does not respond to certain treatments for other types of breast cancer.

Although there are currently no set diet recommendations for people with TNBC, studies show that diet can affect the development and progression of cancer. In addition, eating a nutritious diet can help a person maintain their strength, energy levels, and general health during cancer treatment.

This article describes the nutritional needs of people living with TNBC. It also lists foods to eat and avoid, meal planning tips, and recipe ideas for people with cancer and those who are undergoing cancer treatment.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) advises that good nutrition is important before, during, and after cancer treatment.

A registered dietitian or nutritionist can help a person with cancer make dietary changes that can help with the following problems:

  • Maintaining a moderate body weight
  • Maintaining physical strength
  • Keep body tissues healthy
  • Reducing appetite suppressing side effects of cancer treatment, which may include:

A doctor or nutritionist can advise a person on how to get enough calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals to support their overall health. You can suggest the following:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day
  • Adding butter, cheese, or seasoning to foods to increase their calorie content
  • Adding seasonings to foods to improve their palatability
  • Eating foods at room temperature to reduce their odor if the odor is causing nausea
  • Mixing foods to make them easier to digest
  • light exercise before meals to stimulate appetite

Certain foods contain compounds that can affect gene expression and cancer progression. Cancer is a complex disease, however, and compounds that are useful in some cancers and for some people may not be beneficial in others.

Nutrient-rich foods

A diet high in nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will help provide the vitamins and minerals a person needs for their overall health.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends eating the foods listed below to promote overall health and reduce the risk of certain diseases, including some cancers.

  • a variety of vegetables including dark green, red, and orange varieties
  • high fiber legumes like beans and peas
  • whole fruits of different colors
  • Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats

A 2019 meta-analysis concluded that a diet pattern of consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains was more strongly associated with reduced risk of breast cancer than a diet pattern of consuming red and processed meat and animal fats. However, certain factors can influence these results, including whether a person is pre- or postmenopausal and whether their breast cancer is hormone-dependent.

Many studies have found a link between a Western diet high in processed foods and added sugar and an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Western eating patterns also tend to be very high in calories, which can lead to weight gain and obesity. Women who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Additionally, a 2021 study found that obesity was correlated with shorter, disease-free survival and overall survival in TNBC patients.


Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that come from plants. Research shows that many phytochemical compounds have cancer-fighting properties.

Epigenetics is the study of how external factors turn genes on or off. A 2020 review examining the epigenetic regulation and dietary control of TNBC showed that the following phytochemicals could help treat the disease:

  • Folic acid found in dark green leafy vegetables and fruits
  • Resveratrol in dark fruits like grapes and berries
  • Genistein in soybeans, legumes, grains, and vegetables
  • Curcumin in turmeric
  • Epigallocatechin 3 Gallate in Green Tea
  • Sulforaphane in broccoli
  • Withaferin in the herb Ashwagandha

However, the authors acknowledge that the body may not absorb the active molecules of these compounds effectively. In addition, scientists do not fully understand how these phytochemicals interact with each other.


Soy contains compounds called “isoflavones” that can work in a similar way to the hormone estrogen. However, research into the effects of soy on breast cancer has produced conflicting results. Since TNBC is not a hormone-dependent breast cancer, soy is unlikely to have any effect on its progression.

However, a 2017 study looked at gene expression in women with TNBC. The researchers found that those with high soy intake prior to diagnosis had more tumor suppressor genes and fewer cell growth-related genes. This suggests that consuming soy might have some protective effects.

However, it is worth noting that this study only included participants in China. Soy is much more common in the diet of the Chinese and Japanese populations than that of the western population. Therefore, these results may not apply to people in different parts of the world.

The ACS advises people to limit or avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • red and processed meat
  • sugar-sweetened drinks
  • highly processed foods
  • refined grain products like white bread and pasta
  • alcohol

A smaller 2016 study examining TNBC in women with dense breasts found that people who ate the following foods were at higher risk of developing this type of cancer:

The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate, and moderate protein diet. This dietary approach induces a process called ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fats for fuel.

The NCI advises that while a keto diet is difficult to follow, it is generally safe. The organization explains that the purpose of the diet is to decrease the amount of glucose that tumor cells need to grow and multiply.

A 2019 review of ketogenic diets in the treatment of cancer suggests that such diets can improve the effectiveness of treatments and improve patients’ quality of life. However, more studies are needed to confirm these effects. Additionally, there is currently no research on the keto diet specifically for people with TNBC.

If a person with TNBC is interested in trying a ketogenic diet, they should discuss this with their medical team to see if it is safe and suitable for their specific health needs.

Following certain dietary patterns can help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. They can also help support overall health and improve patient outcomes in patients undergoing TNBC treatment.

The following food planning tips are derived from the research and recommendations mentioned above:

  • For each meal, fill at least half of the plate with different colored vegetables.
  • When making a pan, replace tofu with meat and add leafy greens like kale, red peppers, and carrots.
  • Swap meat for beans and legumes in curries, casseroles and chilies.
  • Opt for whole grain rice, bread, and pasta.
  • Replace packaged breakfast cereals with oatmeal.
  • Snack on fruits like berries, cherries, and grapes.
  • Try herbs and spices that may have therapeutic benefits, such as turmeric, ginger, and parsley.
  • Swap sweet treats for dark chocolate and a handful of walnuts for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

While these tips will help promote overall health and ensure that a person is getting the nutrients they need, certain ways to eat may not be possible for a person with cancer. Cancer treatments often take their toll on appetite and energy, and can lead to symptoms such as nausea and changes in taste.

Getting enough calories and protein, as well as maintaining body weight and muscle mass, are most important for cancer patients. If someone can only tolerate certain foods and textures, that’s perfectly fine. The focus should be on eating all foods that are tolerable, whether or not health professionals consider them healthy.

If someone has specific questions about nutrition and TNBC, or breast cancer in general, they can contact their medical team. A health team, including a nutritionist specializing in cancer nutrition, can help patients develop a plan to help maintain their energy levels and support their overall health.

Research has not yet identified an ideal diet for people with TNBC. However, there is evidence that a wholesome diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes is beneficial for preventing cancer and supporting health during cancer treatment.

In addition, cancer patients can benefit from avoiding or limiting their consumption of processed foods that are high in fat and sugar. Some may also consider increasing their intake of certain botanicals. However, anyone diagnosed with cancer or undergoing treatment should speak to their oncologist before making any significant dietary changes.

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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