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Scottish Cancer Prevention Network | Putting Prevention First

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Fruit & Veg

Veg in season this November

A diet rich in wholegrains, pulses, vegetables and fruit and low in high calorie, highly processed foods remains the key dietary factors for reducing cancer risk (WCRF). Achieving this in a way that doesn’t take hours of preparation, hours of expensive cooking time and hard to find ingredients is a challenge and more so this year as fuel prices jump.

No foods are cheap but eating vegetables and fruit in season can help reduce costs especially if waste can be minimised. Nourish Scotland October and November provide a great wee guide to what is in season on home territory and some excellent recipe ideas. Thinking what to do with a bag of carrots can sometimes need a bit of imagination and we have pulled ideas from around our team- with an emphasis on dishes that are simple, quick and filling. A pressure cooker and microwave cuts fuel costs and minimises oven use…  important when unit costs of fuel are at the mercy of global action which we have so little power to deal with.

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New season – but they still want cake!

Schools are back and the season is changing. As we transition from a hot summer to darker autumn days  the need for comforting, warmer food starts to enter our thoughts. Seasonal eating could never be easier than in autumn as we see apples, pears and plums weighing down branches. Tatties, parsnips, and other roots waiting to be lifted and squashes and broccoli ready to colour our plates.  

But still the kids want cake!!

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Celebrating Gardening week

During last years lockdown, more people than ever before started gardening and here we are in spring again, ready for planting. Gardening provides a great break from indoor work or sitting too long, amazing relief for the mind and life’s stresses, and that was before the Coronavirus outbreak. Gardening really has been a huge benefit during hard times. Breathe deep and enjoy!

As a celebration of #Gardeningweek, here are some of the tasks that can be enjoyed. Even a few minutes invested can result in lots of joy as plants grow or produce amazing vegetables. Move towards your five a day to help reduce cancer risk and personally I don’t think anything ever tastes better than home grown!! 

Annie S. Anderson.

Some great suggestions from SCPN friend Wendy McCombes from Coupar Angus (and other local growers)

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Malcolm Chisholm looks forward to the good things to come in 2021 and beyond

Today’s blog is from @MalcolmChisholm1, one of the directors at the Scottish Cancer Foundation. Malcolm is also known to many as previous MP for Edinburgh Leith and also Minister for Health in the Scottish Parliament at the start of the 21st Century https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Chisholm. His commitment to all health matters and cancer related issues remains a key part of his current work (and leisure activities!)

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Personal prevention strategies : the overlap of Covid-19 and cancer

By Kellie Anderson, MSc

As we slide into the crunchy-leaved depths of September, Covid-19 remains our daily reality. So much so that perhaps some of us are thinking of our lives in terms of BC and DC – Before-Covid and During-Covid. 

This may or may not be a melodramatic assessment of our situation. Only time will tell.

During this unique and rather anxious time many of us have embraced helpful health behaviours, hoping to circumvent our risk of the more acute – and evolving – aspects of the virus. 

Occasional walkers turned into determined hill walkers; smokers quit in droves (at least the under-30s); and an increased number of us were more likely to be cooking, and paying attention to our diet

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You can have your vitamin D and eat it

With autumn fast approaching and holidaying to our favourite sunny destinations on hold, many of us won’t be having a couple of weeks of ‘guaranteed sunshine’ by the sea, opting instead for staycations within Scotland. Vitamin D is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ and has been in the news a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to concerns about time spent indoors during lockdown months. The Scottish Government recently issued revised guidance on vitamin D for all age groups, advising everyone (including children) to consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D. There is some confusion amongst the public with regard to vitamin D intakes, with evidence of Scots being unaware of the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements and uncertainty of which supplements to take.  

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#EatingOutWithKids – babies and toddlers

Feeding babies and toddlers matters! Breast feeding for the first six months of life (and beyond!) is important for cancer risk reduction. All foods and drinks consumed will impact on healthy growth in infancy and future disease risk throughout childhood and beyond. But, even the most diligent parent, carers and grandparents will be challenged to feed little ones well when eating out and about …and that included babies and toddlers. This guest blog from Dr Helen Crawley (First Steps Nutrition) is the final in our series on eating out with children (see others: from a granny, a mother and a father)  and reminds us that challenges with the catering environment start young.

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#EatingOutWithKids – A Father’s perspective

I ordered a kids sandwich for my two year old in a well known Northumbrian cafe last month and this is what arrived.

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Snacking – for and against

By Dr Anna Gryka-MacPhail, Policy Officer, Obesity Action Scotland

Snacks vs. healthy snacks

Some people when asked what a snack is would point to crisps, biscuits, pastries or chocolate bars. Such products are heavy on calories but poor in important nutrients and were named ‘discretionary’ by Food Standards Scotland. We consume up to a fifth of energy from these products. This, together with the fact that on average we eat excess of 200-300 kcal every day, suggests a simple action: #sackthesnack. A 2015 survey found that more than half of the people would prefer to cut down on snacks.

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