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Reduce Breast Cancer Risk with Diet


In support of breast cancer awareness month, here are a few diet related tips aimed to help prevent breast cancer. These tips will also help you lose some weight on the side!

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Research has shown that being overweight can increase the risk of developing breast cancer. High amounts of estrogen produced by fat cells (with the extra weight) are linked to helping cancer growth after menopause.

2. Replace Animal Fat with Plant Oils: Animal Fats are found in butter, meat and those hidden in sweets and cakes. Studies have found that women with a high fat diet had an increase in breast cancer risk compared to those who ate less. Replace these types of saturated fats with healthy fats found in nuts, vegetable oil and olive oil.

3. Eat more Plant Based Foods: Beans, soy, peas, vegetables, fruits, and grains contain isoflavones and/or lignans, which have been found to be protective against breast cancer because they contain ‘phytoestrogens’. Scientists have been looking into these effects on breast cancer more and more.  These foods also contain fiber which may also play a role.

4. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Decrease alcohol intake to moderate amount per day, which is equal to 1 drink for women. Excessive alcohol intake has been linked to other cancers too. 

5. Increase Physical Activity: Is there anything exercise can’t do? Just moderate exercise like walking for 30 minutes 5 times per week can lower your chances of getting breast cancer (plus lose weight).  

Unfortunately there are some risk factors that we can’t control such as gender and age are risk. In Lebanon, about 50% of the cases are diagnosed under the age of 50 years, that’s why early detection and screening is crucial through mammograms and self-breast examinations. 

Author: Massar Dabbous

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