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To Prevent Breast Cancer...Figure the Fats of Life

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There’s no question about it: a high-fat diet increases the risk of breast cancer (and many other cancers).

But an extensive overview of the fat/diet link published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concludes that it’s not only the amount of fat, but the type of fat you eat that is linked to increased risk. Specifically, omega-6 fatty acids (EFAs) abundant in processed liquid, polyunsaturated fats (such as corn and safflower oils) may promote cancer, while other EFAs, especially omega-3 fatty acids (high in wild salmon and flax seed) seem to lower risk more often than not.

Know the fats of life
To increase the odds of beating breast cancer, here’s the bottom line about fats: Most EFA-rich foods, such as olives, nuts, seeds, wild salmon, and avocados, are healthy choices; so, too, are cold pressed oils that haven’t been heated to high temperatures and striped of their nutritional benefits. But when you process foods into oil, and then heat them at high temperatures to increase shelf life, their balance of nutrients changes; in turn, your risk of breast cancer may increase.

Be food-smart
Breast health is enhanced based on the foods and types of fat you typically eat each day. Consume a nutrient-dense, cancer-protecting diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans and peas, with smaller amounts of nuts and seeds, and lean and low-fat dairy, fish, and poultry—and a limited amount of added fats and oils—and you’re taking a big step toward breast health…for life.

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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