Smart Eating May Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk
Information provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health
Breast cancer is a common fear among women for good reason. It is the most common cancer among North American women, striking nearly 200,000 annually. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to take action and reduce your risk.
The causes of breast cancer are not well-understood, but eating a low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables may help protect you. The complex composition of fruits, vegetables and whole grains may lower your breast cancer risk — especially the dietary fiber, beta carotene and vitamin C found in those foods. So enjoy a variety of vegetables, fruits beans and whole-grains daily.
Obesity may also be linked to breast cancer, so maintain a healthy weight and staying physically active. The best approach to weight management is twofold:
A diet low in saturated fat and trans fats may lower both colon and breast cancer risks. So trim the fat where you can and pay attention to where on your body any extra pounds do settle: Are you a pear or an apple shape? Research suggests that women who carry excess body fat around the abdomen (apple shape) may have an increased breast cancer risk.
- Stay physically active with 30 minutes or more of moderate activity on most, if not all, days of the week.
- Avoid eating more calories than your body uses.
If you drink, go easy on alcoholic beverages. As with other health problems, moderation is the key – no more that one drink daily for women. Some studies suggest that your breast cancer risk may go up even with moderate drinking.
During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and all year long), make your overall food choices lower in fat, load up on fruits, vegetables and whole-grains and aim for a healthy weight.