What You MUST Know About Food and Breast Cancer



breast cancer

I continually get asked about the connection between food and breast cancer.  Certainly breast cancer is a very real scare for many women.  In fact, I bet there isn’t a single reader who doesn’t know someone who has – or has had – breast cancer.  It’s a sad reality today.  But, the good news is – it doesn’t have to be this way!

You see, there is a LOT of power we can exercise in our fight against breast cancer.  Sure, if you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you odds of getting it will definitely be higher than the typical person.  But, you do not have to be resigned to the fact that you will ultimately develop breast cancer.  Far from it!  You can actually take a lot more control over the issue.

The control I am speaking about is taking control of the food that you provide your body.  There has been research conducted, over and over again, which demonstrates that your diet can have powerful effects on your chances of developing cancer.  And, the effects can be positive or they can be negative.

I say, “Let’s go for the positive!” 

As you know, I am a huge proponent of a plant-based vegan diet.  Let’s see what the research shows about the connection between breast cancer and food.  Here are the major takeaways:

  1. High Fat Intake Increases Breast Cancer Risk
  2. Specifically, Animal-Based Fat Is Correlated With Even Higher Risks
  3. The Connection Between Animal Fat And Estrogen Is A Factor For Increased Breast Cancer Risk

OK. Let’s take each one of these findings and break them down.

Fat Intake Increases Breast Cancer Risk

First, it has been proven in multiple studies that a high fat intake does indeed increase breast cancer risk.   As an example to illustrate this, let’s compare the stats of Japan and US.  In Japan, where the typical diet is composed of about 10% fat, the breast cancer rates are extremely low.  In the US, where the typical diet is composed of  30-35% fat, the rates of breast cancer are very high.  All of the research strongly suggests that the fat content is a strong reason why these two nations have such radically different rates of breast cancer.  This message of fat being connected to breast cancer has slowly begun to be spread among the media channels and doctor offices.

But, the question remains – Is it any type of fat that increases the risk?  Or, perhaps, a particular type of fat?  Again, researchers have explored this and the answer is strongly suggested ….

Animal-Based Fat Increases the Risk of Breast Cancer
More Than Other Types of Fat

As the researchers dug deeper into the data, they realized that when comparing the Japanese diet with the American diet, the difference was not just in fat content.  They realized that the composition of the fat was also radically different in the two nations.  The Japanese tended to eat a more plant-based diet whereby the fat was consumed mostly in the form of beans and lentils.  The American diet, on the other hand, was primarily composed of fat from animal products (predominantly meat) as well as dairy products (milk, cheese, eggs).  Noticing this difference, the astute researchers dug even deeper to explore this.

They began to notice an interesting trend in the more affluent Japanese families.  You see, as families became more affluent in Japan, they began adopting daily meat and dairy into their diet.  What was the result?  Well, nothing short of shocking, actually.  The affluent Japanese women developed breast cancer at a rate EIGHT times higher than their non-affluent Japanese neighbors who ate a diet free from heavy meat and dairy.  That is an impressive finding!

The researchers also followed the Japanese women who migrated to the US.  They followed them and noted that these women adopted many of the American diet habits.  Can you guess the result?  Their breast cancer rates skyrocketed.

So, the researchers knew there was a strong connection between meat and dairy products and the risk of breast cancer.  Knowing the inquisitive minds of research scientists, they want to know WHY this was occurring.  They weren’t satisfied with just recognizing the WHAT – although that alone is quite impressive.  So, they explored further to find out why.  This is what they found ….

Animal Products Increase Estrogen Levels –
Which Then Increases Breast Cancer Risk

It began with a hypothesis, but the research that was collected world-wide definitely supported this position.  You see, they tracked women who ate diets high in animal fat and dairy products.  They noted that the estrogen levels of these women were increased.  They noted that these same women with the highest levels of estrogen were the ones getting breast cancer.  You see, it has long been known in the science and medical world that excessive amounts of estrogen can foster the growth of cancer cells – particularly in organs responsive to estrogen.  As we know, the breast is very responsive to estrogen.

Even as far back as 2003, some excellent evidence was gathered to support this position.  The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study that showed that even a slight reduction in fat consumption resulted in optimal levels of estrogen.  They studied 8-10 year old girls and followed their hormone levels over the next several years.  They had two groups of girls – one was told to eat a normal diet and the other was told to follow a diet that had reduced animal protein foods and increased vegetables and beans.  Even though the diet change was not drastic, the results were powerful.  The girls to followed the reduced animal fat diet had 30% lower estrogen levels than the girls on the regular diet.  Clearly, after years and years of eating a preferred diet, you can easily imagine the beneficial scenario you could create for yourself.  And, imagine how much better it would be if you totally eliminated animal protein?

Lastly, if you need even further proof, let’s go to the grand-daddy of them all – Harvard University.  They conducted a study on 90,000 post-menopausal women, from ages 26-46, and followed their diets to determine whether breast cancer developed.  The result of this huge study follows perfectly in line with the other studies I mentioned.  The Harvard study proved that the women who ate the most animal-based foods had consistently the highest rates of breast cancer.

So, there you have it.  Incredibly convincing data to prove that your diet really does impact your chances of developing breast cancer.  There’s no doubt at all!  I’d encourage you to ‘move over to the positive side’ and get all the protection and prevention that you can.  Reducing your animal-based foods, or ideally eliminating them altogether, will be the very best thing you can do to protect yourself from breast cancer.

If you liked this article, I encourage you to send this onward.  Twitter and Facebook could be great ways to share this with all the women you care about. I truly want to get the word out – Loud And Clear – that your food choices really can impact your health in a BIG way!

Here’s to your ever-increasing health!

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