When it comes to the best eating habits to reduce your cancer risk, choosing a diet that doesn’t rely on meat may be the way you want it. However, it turns out that there is a specific plant-based diet that is great for helping you avoid breast cancer.
During the American Academy of Nutrition’s recent annual meeting, NUTRITION 2022, the research presented disaggregates the results of a study involving information on 65,574 participants collected between 1993 and 2014, according to Medscape. The data showed that people who ate less meat were 14% less likely to develop breast cancer. However, this only applies to participants who stick to a healthy, plant-based diet. Others who ate a plant-based diet but also ate unhealthy foods and beverages had a 20 percent increased risk of breast cancer.
“The results suggest that the optimal plant-based diet for breast cancer prevention may be a healthy plant-based diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes,” said the study’s lead author. Sanam Shah, MBBS, FCPS, MPHPhD student in epidemiology at the University of Paris-Saclay, France.
At the same time, Shah added, “an unhealthy plant-based diet, including higher intake of processed plant-derived products, such as refined grains, juices, sweets, desserts, and potatoes, is worse for breast cancer prevention.”
“These findings add to a body of evidence that highly refined foods such as potato chips, french fries and juices, while vegetarians, lack many nutrients that help reduce cancer risk, including fiber, vitamins, minerals and Phytonutrients,” Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDNand co-authors Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Hormones, Health and Well-Being Tell Eat this, not that!
Ward also notes that “a well-planned, balanced plant-based diet works by providing high amounts of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, fiber and phytonutrients (these protective compounds found only in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, soy foods, Grains and other plants.” In turn, “antioxidants in plant foods help protect cells from mutating into tumors.”
While Ward explained that food and drink options such as chips and juice “are not necessarily ‘bad’,” she explained that they “are not my first choice as a cancer fighter because they are so refined.”
“For example, baked potatoes provide fiber and other nutrients as well as phytonutrients and are low in fat, while potato chips have few, if any, protective nutrients and are relatively high in fat,” says Woz. On top of that, “eating lots of highly refined plant-based foods crowds out other, more nutritious options that provide cancer-fighting nutrients.” Finally, Ward says “another issue is calories,” because “too many calories are relatively High foods can lead to being overweight, which has been linked to some forms of breast cancer.”
To learn more about how your diet can help you avoid disease, be sure to read the 50 worst foods to never eat if cancer is running in your family.
Desirée O is a freelance writer covering topics such as lifestyle, food and nutrition news.read more