Foods To Limit Or Avoid:
Theres evidence that avoiding fatty foods, like fried foods and packaged snack foods, is one way to help manage weight and overall health and as a result, maybe even breast cancer.
High body fat increases the mortality risk in breast cancer survivors, explains Generose. Decreasing your intake of saturated fats, like those in red meats, butter and baked goods, can decrease fat levels and inflammation in your body.
In small or moderate quantities, alcohol namely red wine does have some health benefits, such as lowering stress, lowering the risk of heart disease and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
In large quantities, however, alcohol is directly linked to breast cancer . Women should keep it to no more than one drink per day, as there is strong evidence that consuming large amounts of alcohol daily increases your risk of breast cancer, says Generose.
In all meal plans, its recommended that you limit your intake of red meats, like beef, lamb and pork, and processed meats, like bacon and hot dogs.
You dont need to swear off all red meat for good, but reducing your intake can have positive effects on your health and may reduce your risk of cancer, says Generose.
The recommended amount of red meat is three portions per week, or a total of 12 to 18 ounces or less.
Try to choose lean cuts of meat or poultry, and add more fish to your diet, adds Generose.
Getting To A Healthy Weight
If you have had breast cancer, getting to and staying at a healthy weight might help lower your risk. A lot of research suggests that being overweight or obese raises the risk of breast cancer coming back. It has also been linked with a higher risk of getting lymphedema, as well as a higher risk of dying from breast cancer.
However, there is less research to show whether losing weight during or after treatment can actually lower the risk of breast cancer coming back. Large studies are now looking at this issue. This is complicated by the fact that many women gain weight during breast cancer treatment, which itself might increase risk.
Of course, for women who are overweight, getting to a healthy weight can also have other health benefits. For example, weight loss has been shown to improve quality of life and physical functioning among overweight breast cancer survivors. Getting to a healthy weight might also lower your risk of getting some other cancers , as well as some other chronic diseases.
Because of the possible health benefits of losing weight, many health care providers now encourage women who are overweight to get to and stay at a healthy weight. Still, its important to discuss this with your doctor before trying to lose weight, especially if you are still getting treatment or have just finished it. Your health care team can help you create a plan to lose weight safely.
Walnuts For A Variety Of Ingredients That Together Fight Cancer Growth
“Walnuts contain multiple ingredients that, individually, have been shown to slow cancer growth, including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols,” says one leading study.“In previous research, consumption of walnuts has slowed the growth of implanted breast cancers.”
Omega-3 fatty acids;have been shown to help fight inflammation which in itself is beneficial in avoiding heart disease and a host of other chronic conditions, but it is also linked to cancer. One;study showed that adding walnuts to your meals daily may slow the growth of breast tumors. Walnuts are the most studied nuts and researchers believe that even;7 whole walnuts a day are enough to;pack major health benefits. Specifically, nutrients such as ellagitannins, melatonin, and gamma-tocopherol in walnuts are believed to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which can ultimately lead to cancer growth.
Don’t Miss: Is Breast Cancer Internal Cancer
Brightly Colored Fruits And Vegetables Are Allies
When it comes to breast cancer prevention, think about eating more carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes foods rich in the compounds known;as carotenoids. According to an article published in June 2015 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who have higher levels of carotenoids in their bloodstream seem to be at lower risk for breast cancer.
Orange vegetables and fruits are most often held up as sources of this powerful nutrient, so if you want to amp up the carotenoids in your breast cancer diet, just make sure you get lots of orange, red, yellow, and even dark green foods.
Getting A Breast Biopsy
In a breast;biopsy, the doctor takes out small pieces of breast tissue to check them for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only way to tell for sure if you have breast cancer.
There are many types of biopsies. Ask your doctor what kind you will need. Each type has risks and benefits. The choice of which type to use depends on your own case.
Sometimes, surgery is needed to take out all or part of the lump to find out if its cancer. This is often done in a hospital using local anesthesia . You might also be given medicine to make you sleepy.
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Breast Cancer Merchandise
Should I Avoid Grilling Meat
Cooking any meat products at high temperatures and exposing them to smoke by grilling, frying, or broiling, for instance produces chemicals known as;heterocyclic;amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are known to increase tumor development throughout the bodies of laboratory rodents. No direct link has been found between the formation of these chemicals on meat products and cancer in humans, but researchers around the world continue to investigate possible links between meat consumption, cooking methods, and cancer.
Guidelines For A Healthy Diet
Here are the guidelines for a healthy diet for Australian adults:
Recommended Reading: Are Breast Cancer Lumps Hard Or Soft
Fish Can Fill You With Protective Lean Protein
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. That makes it a smart lean protein source and a great addition to a breast cancer prevention plan, because anti-cancer nutrition recommendations suggest limiting your intake of red meat and processed meats, including bacon and packaged deli meats. Opt for salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna all are rich in omega-3s as breast cancer diet choices instead.
Other Harmful Industrial And Agrochemical Contamination Of Shellfish Is Common
- St. Lawrence maritime estuary, Canada – mussels and clams – cadmium
- Normandy, France – oysters – various pesticides
- Moroccan Atlantic coast – mussels – untreated chemical wastes from industrial processing of phosphates
- Bangladesh – dried shrimp – DDT applied by fishermen and merchants to help keep dried shrimp from spoiling
- Southwest Louisiana – shrimp, oysters, crayfish, crabs – mercury, lead and cadmium from local petrochemical plants
- Catalonia, Spain – clams, mussels, and shrimp – arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead
- Malaysian coasts and rivers – mollusks and oysters – lead, zinc and cadmium from manufacturing, agriculture, sewage and motor vehicle emissions.
Recommended Reading: What Are Breast Cancer Markers
Unwashed Raw Fruits Vegetables And Herbs
Resist the urge to eat that raw carrot right at the farmers market. Unwashed produce may harbor dirt, bacteria, or parasites, says Kelly Kennedy, RD, a nutritionist for Everyday Health.
Wash all raw fruits, vegetables, and fresh herbs thoroughly under cold and clean running water. Scrub any vegetable that can be scrubbed, and peel any that can be peeled, advises Lee.
The Worst Things To Eat Or Drink If You Are Worried About Increasing Breast Cancer Risk
Studies say that along with avoiding meat and full-fat dairy, you should stay away from all fried foods, pre-packaged baked goods and junk food to cut down on saturated fats and trans fats in your diet as well as lowering your alcohol intake. Alcohol consumption has been known to increase estrogen levels in women and;just;three drinks a week is enough to increase;your risk of breast cancer by 15 percent.
Meat is not only high in fat but when it gets cooked at high temperatures it releases toxins that are known to cause cancer. Processed meats and cold cuts are high in fat, salt, and preservatives, meaning you should limit or avoid intake to lower your cancer risk.; The same;study;that found drinking 1/4 of a cup of milk led to a 30 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer;also discovered that drinking one full cup of milk per day,;drives up your risk from 30 percent to 50 percent. So the more milk you drink, the higher your breast cancer risk.
An overall healthy, balanced diet filled with whole plant-based foods is proven to be the most beneficial for overall breast health and reduces your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. We’ll see you in the produce aisle, buynig mushrooms.
Also Check: Is Breast Cancer Caused By Smoking
What Are The Worst Foods To Eat During Breast Cancer Treatment
You should always check with your medical team about foods to avoid, because everyones treatment plan is different. However, there are some general tips which are below:
- Avoid alcohol as much as possible, although it is fine to have an occasional glass of wine.
- Grapefruit can affect how many drugs act within the body, so you should check with your doctor or avoid this fruit.
- Avoid foods that are high in sugar, as these are more likely to affect weight gain.
- Avoid unpasteurized milk, vegetables, and other dairy products. Unpasteurized food could contain harmful bacteria which makes your chances of getting ill greater when your immunity is low.
- You may be told to avoid runny eggs, raw seafood, and buffets where you cannot be certain how long the food has been out. I was also told to avoid takeaways for the same reason, but you should check with your medical team if you are not sure.
During chemotherapy when your immune system is compromised you need to be really careful about food hygiene. Make sure you follow a good handwashing regime and store foods correctly, keeping raw and cooked meat separate. Also, be careful when using chopping boards, ensuring that raw meat and fish are prepared separately from cooked meat or vegetables.
Be careful when reheating, as food must be cooked right through so that it is piping hot. Otherwise, it may encourage bacteria to form which can make you really ill.
Whats The Best Diet For Weight Loss
Research shows that limiting the number of calories you eat is the best way to lose weight and keep it off. To lose weight or stay at a healthy weight, you may need to make lifestyle changes, and dieting alone may not work. Cutting out whole food groups, such as fats or carbohydrates, also isnt likely to work and is hard to keep doing for long periods of time.
If you exercise often, you can increase your lean muscle tissue. This will increase the rate at which your body burns calories. Exercise regularly to keep or increase your lean muscle mass and decrease your fat mass.
Don’t Miss: Is Stage 4 Breast Cancer
If You Have Side Effects
Nausea. If you experience nausea, your dietitian may recommend that you try to eat more foods that are cool or at room temperature because they dont have a strong odor. It may also help to eat;lower-fat food;since fats take longer to digest.
Dont skip meals entirely if you have nausea, since an empty stomach can make nausea worse, Taylor says. Instead, focus on small bites of food throughout the day. Avoid strong flavors. Feel free to incorporate ginger root into your recipes, as this can help settle a nauseated stomach.
Constipation. If constipation becomes an issue, your dietitian may encourage you to eat fiber-rich foods and increase your fluid intake, Taylor adds. Low-intensity walking and warm beverages also can help encourage regular bowel movements.
Fatigue. To combat fatigue, choose high-protein snacks and small frequent meals rather than large meals. People often experience more fatigue when theyre not eating well, or when theyre losing weight during treatment.
If youre experiencing any side effect that affects your ability to eat regularly, ask your care team if you can meet with a dietitian to review individualized nutrition recommendations.
Garlic And Onions Get Down To The Cellular Level
Garlic seems to have an impact on cell cycling, explains Marian. Thats the process that is not functioning properly when a healthy cell becomes cancerous and grows uncontrolled. Credit for regulating this goes to the component of garlic called allyl sulfide. Allyl sulfides are found throughout the onion family, so adding garlic or onions to your recipes on a regular basis may aid in breast cancer prevention.
People on blood thinners and certain other drugs should talk with their doctor before taking garlic supplements, to avoid possible drug interactions.
Don’t Miss: What Color Is Breast Cancer Pink
Soy Foods Not Soy Products May Bring Benefits
Soy has received mixed reviews regarding adult breast cancer prevention, but Marian says mothers may be interested to know about a large study of Asian-American women that found when adolescent girls ate at least one serving of soy foods a day, they reaped anti-cancer nutrition benefits later in life.
On the other hand, she recommends against adult women taking soy or isoflavone supplements as part of a breast cancer diet. These products contain estrogen-like compounds, which could prove to be too much of a good thing.
Flaxseeds Ground Or Whole Could Fend Off Cancer
Shopping for healthy fats will inevitably lead you to flaxseed oil, but this is an instance when your best anti-cancer nutrition choice is the seed itself, ground into a flour-like dust.
When you use milled flaxseed, it has a component called lignans, explains Marian. According to a study published in June 2014 in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, lignans may possibly decrease cancer growth, which could make it useful in a breast cancer management diet. You can buy ground flaxseed or grind the seeds yourself using a coffee grinder. Then sprinkle the flaxseed on salads or include it in muffins.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Self Check For Breast Cancer
Can Diet Reduce Your Risk Of Breast Cancer
Diet has quite an impact on the way the body works, including the development of cancers.
Theres still some controversy surrounding foods containing estrogen-like compounds, like soy, red meats and dairy, and whether they contribute to estrogen-positive breast cancer. These foods all have estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals in them, says Generose. However, research outcomes vary by type of food, how much of that food is eaten over time, the genetic makeup of the person and their diet overall.
Some foods have cancer-fighting properties while others have cancer-causing properties. If you focus on eating healthy, nutritious foods, it may help reduce your risk of developing estrogen-positive breast cancer.
Is There A Concern About Eating Soy Foods
Soy foods contain a natural plant compound called;isoflavone.;;Research;on isoflavone;shows that eating traditional soy foods;may:;
- Prevent the;growth of tumors;.;;
- Induce apoptosis;.;;
- Aid in DNA repair.;;
Population studies do not link;consuming;soy with any cancer.; In fact,;evidence continues to grow;showing;that eating traditional soy foods may actually lower the risk of breast, prostate, and endometrial cancer.;;;
Read Also: What Does Triple Negative Mean For Breast Cancer
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a lump in the breast. However, other changes are also symptoms, such as inverted nipples, a discharge or bleeding from the breast, a rash or any other changes to the breast, armpit or collarbone. Its vital to report any changes so self-examination is key. I have previously written about how to do a breast examination and what to look for, and this should ideally be done monthly.
What Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast. It starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control.
Breast;cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. Breast cancer is most common in women, but;men can get breast cancer, too.
Breast cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body and grow there, too. When cancer cells do this, its called metastasis.
Cancer is always named based on the place where it starts. So even if breast cancer spreads to the bones , its still called breast cancer. Its not called bone cancer unless it starts from cells in the bone.
Also Check: How To Donate To Breast Cancer Charity
Is It Best To Avoid Meat
While its a good idea to focus primarily on a plant-based diet one that is rich in fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes ; it’s true that high-quality lean meats and poultry in reasonably sized portions can also contribute valuable nutrients to your diet.
But red meat and processed meats are another story. Many studies have consistently linked red meat and processed meats with colorectal cancer. The more meat consumed, the higher the risk. A review of studies specifically looking at meat consumption and colorectal cancer risk found that the risk increased 36 percent for every 3½ ounces of red meat and 28 percent for every 1½ to 2 ounces of processed meat consumed each day.