Can a Healthy Diet Help to Prevent Breast Cancer?

woman looking at exam results

Which Foods Help Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?

Physicians recommend adopting a plant-based diet to reduce your chance of getting breast cancer. Plant-based foods are full of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that boost your immune system and reduce your overall chance of getting any type of cancer or developing heart disease and diabetes. Along with eating whole grains and legumes, try to eat six to nine servings of the following foods every day:

  • Whole fruit (half cup)
  • Dried fruit (quarter cup)
  • Fruit or vegetable juice (six ounces)
  • Leafy green vegetables (one cup)
  • Raw vegetables (half cup)

Instead of fatty red meats and other unhealthy fats, add the following healthy fats to your diet:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Omega 3 fatty oils from salmon, mackerel, and sardines

Research shows that adding soy-based foods to your diet can also reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Soy contains isoflavones that bind with estrogen, fighting cancers related to hormones like breast and prostate cancer. Soy provides protein, fiber, Vitamin B, and iron. Add three servings of soy a day to your diet, and choose from soybeans, tofu, and soy milk. Avoid soy-based concentrates such as powder supplements since the safety of this type of soy is unknown.

Which Foods Should I Avoid to Reduce My Breast Cancer Risk?

Avoid the following fats to reduce your breast cancer risk:

  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Butter
  • Skin from poultry
  • Fatty meats
  • Margarine
  • Hydrogenated oils

Sugar—Excess sugar can lead to increased insulin levels and unwanted weight gain, which are both contributing risk factors for breast cancer. Limit sweets, candy, sugary drinks, and other sources of food that offer few nutrients in exchange for their high-calorie counts.

What Else Can I Do to Reduce My Breast Cancer Risk?

Doctors suggest all women maintain a healthy weight to reduce their breast cancer risk. Obesity is a leading risk factor for breast and other types of cancer. A 10 percent weight gain in adulthood (15 pounds for a 150-pound woman) is linked to increased breast cancer risk in addition to disease recurrence.

Exercise plays an important role in reducing your chance of getting breast cancer. Not only does exercise help keep weight in check, getting moderate exercise four hours a week can decrease hormone levels that contribute to breast cancer.

Where Can I Get a Mammogram on Long Island?

Getting a yearly mammogram starting at age 40 is the single most important tool in the early detection of breast cancer. At PURE Mammography in Lake Grove, we offer state-of-the-art 3D mammograms in a caring and compassionate setting that makes our patients’ comfort our top priority. Contact us today for information.

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