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Breast Cancer Risk and Nutrition

Diet is perhaps the single largest controllable factor in a woman’s breast cancer risk. There are foods that increase your risk, and also foods that can significantly reduce it. By maintaining a healthy, varied diet rich in cancer-preventative foods, you are able to substantially cut your chances of breast cancer. Plus, eating a wide variety of nutritious foods is also part of a healthy lifestyle that goes beyond reducing cancer risk.

According to The American Cancer Society, a large number of women’s health studies have suggested that a diet low in animal fats can lead to lower rates of breast cancer. Cancer rates are lower in parts of the world where people eat less animal fat. Additionally, in tests on rodents, higher fat diets led to higher incidence of mammary cancers. Seek out low-fat protein options to keep your fat intake within recommended guidelines. For instance, opt for a lentil salad or vegetarian black bean chili for dinner. Try tilapia for an affordable, low-fat mild fish entree. Pick lean cuts when eating red meat, and take the skin off chicken. Preliminary studies seem to indicate that the younger you are when you adopt a low-fat diet, the more cancer protection it provides.

While no clear cause and effect has been established between eating fruit and vegetable and breast cancer risk reduction, it is well-known that eating plenty of vegetables is necessary for proper women’s nutrition. Vegetables are low in fat, but high in filling fiber. Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Pick fruits and vegetables with colors through the rainbow to make sure you are getting a wide array of nutrients. Think yellow peppers, deep green kale, pale eggplant and vibrant red berries. Keeping cut veggies on the top shelf of your fridge makes them an easy snack.

One of the clearest dietary risks for cancer is alcohol consumption. Women who drink have a higher incidence of breast cancer than those who don’t. If you do imbibe, limit it to one alcoholic drink per day. This allows you to take advantage of the wellness benefits of beverages like red wine while limiting your cancer risk. Also, if you drink, be sure to consume plenty of folate-rich foods like fortified cereals and leafy greens. Although scientists don’t understand why, folate seems to help reduce cancer risk among women who drink.

Pursuing a healthy diet not only cuts down breast cancer risks, it helps reduce other health risk such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Plus, a good diet leaves you feeling more energetic and provides a general sense of wellness. Commit to maintaining a healthy diet to cut your breast cancer risk and enjoy better health overall.

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