Niagara Gazette

January 31, 2007

LETTERS: Feb. 1's letters to the editor

Study: Vegetarian food helps fight cancer

Most people know that fiber is essential for lowering cholesterol, but a recent study gives new reason for Americans to eat more roughage. Researches from the University of Leeds in England studied over 35,000 women and found that among premenopausal women, those who ate 30 grams of fiber a day had half the risk of breast cancer compared with those who ate less than 20 grams.

Fiber, which is only found in plant foods, helps your body rid itself of potentially cancer-causing hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, cholesterol, toxins and other harmful substances.

Getting 30 to 40 grams of fiber every day is easy. Start by filling up on fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, which are naturally low in fat and cholesterol-free. Beans, in particular, are loaded with fiber and are among the 20 most antioxidant-rich foods. Leave meat, dairy products, eggs and heavily processed foods off your plate.

The average American eats only 14 to 15 grams of fiber a day. But a healthy vegetarian diet provides significantly more fiber — 30 grams or more a day.

Vegetarian foods also provide powerful cancer-fighting compounds that can’t be found in burgers, chicken wings or mozzarella sticks.

Jennifer K. Reilly, R.D., senior nutritionist

The Cancer Project, Washington, D.C.

Catholic education instills values

As a grandmother, Id like to celebrate Catholic School Week by sharing my thoughts on a Catholic education. My five grandchildren have had the good fortune to be educated by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus beginning with their pre-school years. My oldest grandson is now in his second year at St. Dominic Savio Middle School.

The sisters at the Sacred Heart Villa have not only seen to their academic achievements, but have instilled in them respect, good manners and self-confidence.

I am proud each time my grandsons rush to hold the door open, not only for me, but other adults entering or leaving a building. Their “please” and “thank you” may be started at home, but is reminded daily by the good nuns who teach them.

I have grandchildren who feel a genuine need to assist those less fortunate and who have an understanding on the need to give back to the community.

Every sister knows the name of every student in the school and the love the students are shown is so very important to help with self-esteem.

I have a very special place in my heart for the Sacred Heart Villa, and I hope parents consider sending their children there. Truly, the sacrifice needed to educate your child in a Catholic school reaps benefits beyond measure.

Maryann Mahar