Lifestyle Changes Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Researchers Say Exercise and Diet May Prevent Some Cases of Breast Cancer
Nutritionist Colleen Doyle, RD, of the American Cancer Society, tells WebMD
that although no single food, food group, or nutrient has been shown to lower
breast cancer risk, it is clear that eating a healthy, mostly plant-based diet
A red meat and processed meat-heavy diet is now known to increase the risk
for colorectal cancer, and there is some suggestion that these foods increase
breast cancer risk as well.
Doyle says the research attempting to target the role of single foods, food
group, or nutrient in breast cancer has largely been a bust.
"Years ago, we recommended limiting all fats and that evolved into limiting
saturated fats," she says. "Now we have moved away from specific food-based
recommendations to focusing on an overall dietary pattern stressing a wide
variety of mostly plant-based foods."
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) also recommends a mostly
plant-based diet to lower cancer risk. To promote the idea, the group has
developed what it calls the "new American plate" to replace the more
traditional meal that has meat as its main component and refined starches as a
AICR nutritionist Alice Bender, RD, tells WebMD that at least two-thirds of
the "new" plate should be plant-based, including vegetables, fruits, whole
grains, or beans; no more than one-third of any meal should come from animal protein.
"This is an easy way to visualize what a healthy diet should look like," she
says. "It's really pretty simple."