A Healthy Diet May Reduce Your Risk

Does a healthy diet help prevent breast cancer? The answer is unclear. Studies have shown a strong link between consuming less fat and more fruits and vegetables, and a lower incidence of breast cancer, but these studies have been inconclusive. Some of the suggested changes are simply healthy choices overall. Limiting your alcohol intake, as we know, is a good choice for overall health, but there is also a strong link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. Try to limit alcohol intake to less than one drink a day or avoid it completely.

There is evidence of a slight decrease in invasive breast cancers in women who consume a low-fat diet, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, by limiting the saturated fats in your diet, you may decrease your chance of contracting other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Women should limit their fat intake to less than 35% of their daily calories.

Another result of a low-fat diet may be to help you maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight is also thought to be a risk factor for breast cancer. Excess fat is a source of circulating estrogen, which is linked to increased risk of developing breast cancer. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight will help reduce that risk. Regular exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) is an important tool to a healthy body weight.

If you make some of these choices, not only will your overall health benefit, but you may also eliminate some of your risks of developing breast cancer.

References and Other Resources:

Mayo Clinic: "Breast cancer prevention: Lifestyle factors that can reduce risk, Mayo Clinic

Boyd, M.D., Norman, et al,: "Rationale for the Diet and Breast Cancer Prevention Study," OCI/PMH

MedicineNet: "Breast Cancer Prevention," MedicineNet

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