No food or diet will fully prevent you from getting breast cancer. Some risk factors are out of your control, such as heredity.
A varied and colorful diet, full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans), and omega-3 fatty acids is a great place to start, to give your body the best nourishment it can get.
The women’s Health Initiative Trial (2010) suggested that a diet very low in fat, specifically saturated fat, may reduce the risk of breast cancer, but more research is needed in this area. Nutrition is a young science, and studies published in the media may only be aiming to answer one small, specific question. Be wary of sources that claim a cancer-curing diet.
For now, this is what we suggest:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Body mass index is not a perfect gauge of health, but it can be helpful in estimating your healthy weight.
- Eat 5+ cups of fruits and vegetables per day. See the info-graphic below for a breakdown on why eating the rainbow is key.
- Limit saturated fats to 10% of total calories per day.
- Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Think salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, walnuts…
- Stay physically active – 3 to 4 hours per week of walking is a good place to start
- Breastfeed your babies if possible
- AVOID trans fats, processed meats (deli meats, hot dogs, breakfast sausage patties/links…), and charred or smoked foods.
Increase the chance of finding breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat:
- know how your breasts normally look and feel
- talk to your doctor right away if you notice changes in your breasts
- talk to your doctor if you have a higher risk, including a family history of cancer
October 18th is Pink Day to honor breast cancer awareness month at Upland Hills Health.
Stop by UHH’s Center Cafe for lunch on October 18th for a ‘cancer prevention meal‘, starring foods discussed here such as salmon, pomegranate, broccoli, garlic, walnuts, berries…
Hope to see you there!