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To Prevent Breast Cancer…Watch Your Weight

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Did you know, weighing too much can threaten your breast health, and may also increase the risk of a plethora of other health problems, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, key risk factors for heart disease.

Why should you (and your breasts) care about a little or a lot of extra weight? The key reason: because extra fat (adipose tissue) puts you at increased risk for breast cancer. In large part, this is because the more overweight you are, the higher your estrogen levels are likely to be. Over time, estrogen, produced in body fat, can be released into the bloodstream, which in turn, creates higher concentrations of circulating estrogen.

Research supports the fat-estrogen link: Postmenopausal women who have gained 45 pounds or more since age 18 are twice as likely to get breast cancer than those who gained less than 5 pounds over time. Indeed, Science News reports that postmenopausal women who do not take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but who gain 5 to 22 pounds after age 18, increase their breast cancer risk by 20 percent; a weight gain of 44 pounds boots the odds by 60 percent.

To prevent breast cancer or to lower the odds of recurrence, now is the right time to take charge of your life. Begin by eating less and moving more. Then, eat optimally: Choose a diet low in fat and calories, with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, and legumes, and lean fish or poultry. Commit to taking good care of yourself with these simple changes and you’re setting the stage to beat the odds for both weight gain and breast cancer.

Deborah Kesten, MPH, and Larry Scherwitz, PhD, are international lifestyle and health researchers and Certified Wellness and Cardiac coaches. They also are the award-winning authors of Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul, The Healing Secrets of Food, and The Enlightened Diet. Call them at 415.810.7874 or visit them at www.Enlightened-Diet.com to take their FREE What’s Your Eating Style? Quiz, and to learn more about their Whole Person Nutrition Program for wellness, weight loss, coaching, and books.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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