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Ask the Expert: What to Eat to Prevent Cancer with Mary Flynn -- UPDATED WITH WINNERS!

Posted by on Sep. 20, 2011 at 4:05 PM
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Join me in congratulating our winners!

They’ve each won a copy of Mary's book, The Pink Ribbon Diet!

Do you want to learn more about how what you eat can help prevent breast cancer? Do you try to eat healthily, but want more guidance on what to eat and what to avoid? Our expert is here to answer all your questions and offer tips and advice!

We're thrilled to have expert nutritionist Mary Flynn joining us for the month of October to answer your questions about diet and nutrition and how what you eat affects your health. Mary is a research dietician who works for The Miriam Hospital, a Brown Medical School teaching hospital. She is also the author of The Pink Ribbon Diet.
Mary will be here the entire month of October, beginning Saturday October 1st, to answer your questions and share her advice.

Please post your questions as replies to this post. Mary will post her answers here as well. 2 lucky moms will win a copy of The Pink Ribbon Diet, so post your questions now and you could win!

Then check out Mary's recipes:

Welcome and thank you for joining us, Mary!

The Official Rules
To enter the this contest, reply to this post. Click on the 'reply to post' button at the top (or bottom) of that post. When the text box opens, add your reply. Once you've added your reply, click on the "Add Reply' button.

  • Posts must be made between Tuesday September 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm EST and Sunday October 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST.  
  • This contest will end on Sunday October 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Two winners will be selected randomly.
  • The winners will be posted on this thread and will be notified via CafeMom PM.
  • Multiple replies are allowed and will increase  your chances of winning.
  • Prizes are only available to members who live in the US or Canada (excluding Quebec).
  • Prizes must be claimed within 10 days of notice of winning.
  • Two winners will each receive a copy of "The Pink Ribbon Diet" by Mary Flynn and Nancy Verde Barr.


by on Sep. 20, 2011 at 4:05 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Cafe Kristin
by on Oct. 3, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Hi Mary,

Thank you so much for joining us! I'm really interested in learning more about nutrition and how what we eat can help prevent cancer. I know that eating lots of fruits and vegetables is recommended, but which ones in particular are best? Also, is fresh always best, or are frozen, canned, dried, etc. okay, too?



by on Oct. 4, 2011 at 12:43 PM

 Hello Mary,

I am so glad you are taking the time to join us on this site.  I am very interested in learning more.  Cancer runs thick through my family (anyone who has passed away in my family has either been in a tragic accident or lost their battle with cancer)

Other than water, what other things are good for you to drink? Green tea?  What about vitamins?

by on Oct. 4, 2011 at 12:44 PM

One more...

What is your number one piece of advice to women? 

by Sister on Oct. 5, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Hey thanks for being here!are there any food s that can predispose you to breast cancer?

by Group Mod on Oct. 5, 2011 at 1:08 PM

 Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.  I'm really interested in nutrition.   What 3 fruits and 3 vegetables do you think are the best for prevention?

by Sister on Oct. 5, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Hi Kristin ~ the best produce are those dark in color and from the cruciferous family (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale). Dark color means carotenoids ~ which help to fight cancer. The cruciferous family has a component (phytonutrient) that will fight cancer, in general, but especially breast and prostate cancer. Both of these components need fat to be absorbed and used in the body so I recommend all vegetables be cooked in olive oil.  Fresh are fine if they are local, but I typically recommend frozen and canned as they are kept on the plant longer so they are darker in color, they are all ready to use and you can keep more in your home. hope that helps!

by Sister on Oct. 5, 2011 at 2:02 PM

Water is always the best bet.  Green tea can be fine but black tea is also healthy. There is not a health problem with coffee, either, it is more what you put in it (sweeteners, cream) that add calories.

The only vitamin I recommend is vitamin D for someone who is deficient as it is the only one we can not get sifficient amounts in our diet.  I do not reommend multivitamins for adults, as I find people use them as insurance (I do not always eat a healthy diet, but I do take my vitamins...).

by Sister on Oct. 5, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Hmm. this would depend on a number of things such as health status, current weight, etc. For general advice, I would encourage everyone to learn to cook easy, healthy meals. As a society, we have moved away from cooking and it can be so rewarding.  Kids are not going to remember the drive through fast food meal, but they will always remember their mom's (fill in the blank). I went into nutrition because I love to cook. I have made up really easy recipes that follow my plant-based, olive oil diet to show people how easy it is to make a meal your family will love. Most of my recipes take no more than 20 minutes and most of that time you do not need to be in the kitchen!

by Sister on Oct. 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM

There are 2 foods I discourage.  The first is red meat, especially if it is grilled, as I think you can make a case that weekly red meat consumption increases breast cancer risk.  The other food are the vegetable oils (soybean, safflower, corn oils) and their products (margarine, mayonnaise, commercial salad dressing). These contain mainly polyunsaturated fats, which oxidize. Excessive oxidation increases your risk of all chronic diseases and aging, in general.

by Sister on Oct. 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Please see my answer to Kristen (1st post).

vegetables: broccoli or anything from that family, canned tomatoes, any leafy greens

fruits: anything dark (mainly canned fruit in juice), berries, grapes.

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