Here are some promising eating strategies to support breast health.
Women following a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, and extra virgin olive oil were 68% less likely to develop breast cancer than women put on a low-fat diet, Spanish researchers found. Previous research has shown the Mediterranean diet is associated with lower cancer rates in general, but this is the first study to show a benefit for breast cancer specifically.
Added sugar isn’t so sweet for breast cancer risk, suggests preliminary research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Mice who got upwards of 12.5% of their calories from added sugar were significantly more likely to develop breast cancer compared to mice on a no-added-sugar diet.
Unfortunately, the average American gets 13% of their daily calories from added sugar, putting them at great risk. The researchers found the sweet stuff triggered enzymes leading to inflammation, which is thought to play a role in this disease. While results in people haven’t been quite so dramatic, research suggests sugar appears to have a similar impact on humans. Another bonus: cutting back on added sugar to about 24 grams (or less than 5% of your daily calories) per day can help you stay slim—important since obesity is also associated with breast cancer risk.
CLOSE THE KITCHEN AFTER DINNER
In a study of women already diagnosed with breast cancer, those who put at least 13 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day cut their risk of recurrence by 36% and had better blood sugar control, according to a new University of California, San Diego study. The researchers are optimistic their findings may apply to future breast health, since high blood sugar may increase your risk for the disease.
Vitamin D Receptors (VDR) are located in every major organ and in tissues throughout your body. Vitamin D is more than a vitamin. It interacts with over 3,000 genes throughout the body so it’s crucial to get enough and know your levels. According to the Vitamin D Council, there is strong evidence vitamin D plays a beneficial role in breast cancer risk.