Healthy Living Blog

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Tina Miller, MS RDN Meijer Healthy Living Advisor,

Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the United States.  Screening, which can identify polyps, is the best way to reduce your risk for developing this cancer.  Since this cancer most often impacts older Americans, screening typically begins at age 50.  Those at greater risk, such as people who have an immediate family member with a history of colorectal cancer, may need to begin screening sooner. Some ethnicities are at greater risk for developing colorectal cancer including African Americans, Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) and Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. (For more information, please visit


In addition to screening, diet and lifestyle can play a significant factor in reducing your risk for colorectal cancer.  Healthy eating tips to reduce your risk include:

  1. Choose many of the foods you eat from plant sources.
    – Get at least 5 cups of colorful vegetables and fruit each day
  2. Eat whole grains rather than refined whenever you can.
    – Read labels – the first ingredient should be a whole grain such as whole wheat.
  3. Limit your red and processed meats.
    – Cured and processed meat contain a form of Nitrates and Nitrates used in the curing process that can increase colorectal cancer risk. Nitrates and Nitrites found in vegetables are not the same and are actually beneficial. If choosing processed meats, look for “uncured” or “nitrate / nitrite free”
    – Don’t overdue the red meat. Limit to 2-3 3-ounce servings weekly.
  4. Be physically active; achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.


Recipes to Help Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

Oven Roasted Rainbow Carrots


Rainbow Carrots – 2 bunches

Olive oil – 1 Tablespoon

Kosher salt – ½ Teaspoon

Maple syrup – 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon (optional)

Chive, fresh – optional


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Scrub rainbow carrots, to remove the soil, leaving the skin to retain most of the nutrients. Remove the leafy parts of the carrot tops.

Toss carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and lightly drizzle with maple syrup (if desired) roast at 450 degrees F, turning once, until tender and slightly browned, approximately 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh chive (optional).

Italian Style Tuna Pasta Salad

Serves 4


2 Cups True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Rotini Pasta

2 Cups Broccoli, cooked

2 Cans Chunk Light Tuna in Water

1 Cup Grape tomatoes, halved

8 Cups Field greens salad

1/2 Cup Italian dressing


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pasta, broccoli, tuna, tomatoes, and salad. Drizzle with Italian dressing.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 370 calories, 13g fat, 33g carbs, 30g protein, 4g dietary fiber, 480mg sodium