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The Four

Registered Dietitian, Shanthi Appelö Talks Colorectal Cancer Awareness and What Foods Could Be Red Flags

Colorful Toasts 3

March is colorectal cancer awareness month and it’s a good time to reflect on the types of foods you’re eating and the diet you’re maintaining.  Registered dietitian with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Shanthi Appelö breaks down some things to keep in mind, specifically with processed foods and lunch meats.

She explains that these types of foods could be red flags when it comes to diseases like colorectal cancer and there are other types of foods that could actually help our bodies stand against this type of cancer.

Here are Shanthi’s top recipes that are excellent alternatives compared to lunch meat.


  • Cottage cheese
  • Hummus
  • Almond, peanut or other nut/seed butter


  • Scrambled or sliced boiled eggs 
  • Silken tofu
  • Flavored tuna packs
  • Sliced grilled chicken
  • Black beans or chickpeas

Though the daily fiber recommendation for men is 38 grams and 25 grams for women, the average American only consumes 15 grams of fiber per day. Try these flavor combinations we taste tested that pack in both fiber and protein to fuel your day: 

Strawberries and Cream Toast

Features: whole grain toast, berries and almonds provide fiber to keep you energized for longer. Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and pairs well with the vitamin C-rich strawberries.

  • 1 whole wheat toast
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese
  • 4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tsp balsamic reduction
  • 1 tbsp almonds, sliced

Cucumber and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Toast

Features: whole wheat toast and veggies provide a nice crisp and fiber to contrast the creamy hummus. Roasted red pepper and cucumber are great flavor combinations and packed in nutrients.

  • 1 whole wheat toast
  • 2 tbsp hummus
  • 1/3 roasted red pepper
  • Garnish: thinly sliced radishes and cucumbers

Southwestern Toast

Features: black beans and whole wheat toast provide a complete protein and significant fiber. The flavors of cotija cheese, avocado, lime and cilantro are a perfect combination.

  • 1 whole wheat toast
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp Cotija cheese
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Garnish: cilantro, chopped

For more details and a direct link to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, A Healthier Michigan .