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Foods Linked to Breast Cancer

Foods Linked to Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a disease where the cells in the breast grow out of control rapidly. This usually starts in the breast ducts, which may lead to invasive ductal carcinoma, or in the lobules, which results in invasive lobular carcinoma that can metastasize or spread to the blood vessels, both lymph and blood, as well as other parts of the body. 

There are also less common forms of breast cancer such as inflammatory breast cancer, medullary mucinous breast cancer, or Paget’s disease.

While it is unlikely that one can fully prevent breast cancer completely, there are foods you can eat to help lessen your likelihood of getting it. Breast cancer and diet have an unlikely partnership. So knowing what to eat or avoid can help. For instance, an established link has been established between breast cancer risk and dietary fat intake. The more consumption of total fat and saturated fat, the higher the overall risk.

Foods to avoid in order to reduce your breast cancer risks include:

1. Red meat 

Red meat as well as processed or cured meats (i.e., hot dogs, sausages, deli meats) can release toxins when cooked at high temperatures. Meats that are processed can be extremely high in salts, preservatives, and fat, which may all increase breast cancer risk.

2. Sugar 

Refined sugar and alcohol-sugars have been linked to the development of mammary gland tumors. This type of tumor is also more likely to spread (or metastasize) to other bodily areas. Sugars from alcohol also carry an increased risk of developing breast cancer if you’re prone to consuming more than 3 alcoholic drinks per week.

3. Fats

Although not all fats are bad, a diet excess in industrial-made trans fats and saturated fats are considered poor choices. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The bad fats mentioned are most likely found in processed foods and fried foods as well as pre-packaged convenience foods. These can cause extra fat cells and excess estrogen to be absorbed, which may lead to metabolic diseases and breast cancer.

4. Breast-cancer preventing foods to eat 

The following foods are known for helping to lower the risk of breast cancer development:

  • Foods rich in vitamin D: help to prevent against cancers. An abundance, whether from food or sunlight, is a good thing.
  • Whole grains and fiber: have been shown to work as a preventative measure against breast cancer as fiber prevents too much estrogen from being absorbed and binds to estrogen for elimination. 
  • Fruits and vegetables: including dark green leafy vegetables, like kale and collard greens, and fresh fruits, such as peaches and berries, have been associated with breast cancer prevention.
  • Soybean products: such as tofu,soy milk, soy nuts, and tempeh help to reduce the bad cholesterol and also contain isoflavones, which resemble estrogen, but don’t increase breast cancer risk.
  • Good fats: such as those found in fish, seeds, nuts, avocados, and olive oil can actually help.These are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are helpful as they are needed for healthy bodily function.