Breast Cancer + Nutrition

Vector of foods that fight breast cancer.

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.

cancernutritionrainbow

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!

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