Written by Desireeh Chevere | Reviewed by Laura Kahn MS, RDN, CDN
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s time to kick it into gear to save those tatas! Although there is not a sure way to prevent it, there are things you can do to lower your risk. Even though there are certain factors about you that may put you at a higher risk for breast cancer, such as being a woman, getting older, or inherited genes, there are life-style related factors that can be improved to lower your risk. For instance, your eating and drinking habits can play a part in either reducing or increasing your risk.
There has been research done that suggests diets high in fat can lead to becoming overweight or even lead to obesity, which is a known risk factor for breast cancer. Another life-style related factor that puts you at a higher risk is heavy alcohol consumption, which is defined as having three or more drinks per day. The recommendation for alcohol consumption is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, in order to reduce this risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and low in fat, red meat and processed foods can make a positive difference. For instance, eating these types of foods will help maintain a healthy weight and help with normalizing blood sugar levels.
Life can get a bit busy during this time of year. However, you can’t forget to take care of yourself! Making sure you are eating well will set the tone for this season in your life. Little by little you can try incorporating new fruits and vegetables to your daily snacks and then to your actual meals. For instance, having fruit (oranges, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) with yogurt and granola is a breakfast or snack choice. You can also add those berries to a salad with carrots and/or peppers. As for a dinner choice, it’s best to make sure that you have your carbohydrates, vegetables and protein; so you can try having brown rice, broccoli, and chicken. You can switch it up and have whole-wheat pasta, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and chicken. There are many other foods you can incorporate into your diet that are not only healthy but delicious as well. Trying your best with making these little changes in your diet will help you in the long run, especially when you’re trying to protect yourself against breast cancer!
The American Cancer Society and Today's Dietitian