Breast Cancer Risk

The Best Diet for Reducing Breast Cancer Risk

Eat at least 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, with an emphasis on the deeply colored choices noted above.
Protein-7-9 ounces daily. Critical for rejuvenating cells. Plant proteins recommended over animal proteins, such as beans and other legumes, as well as fish occasionally. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential. Consider including egg whites for protein, although a completely meatless diet (no animal proteins or sources) is the best type of diet. SEE THE CHINA STUDY by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas Campbell, MD
Whole grains: 6-11 servings daily. Breads, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain cereals, quinoa, barley.
Fats: Eat heart-healthy plant-based fats, such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, and oils, such as olive, canola or flaxseed.
Avoid sugar, alcohol, white-floured products (white breads, pastas, cereals, rice-eat whole grain/whole wheat only), processed foods and as many animal products as possible.
Vitamin-mineral supplements: multivitamin-mineral, Calcium, and if unable to consume the recommended amounts above, get these nutrients through supplements.

  • At this time, there is no scientific evidence that a raw food diet will reduce breast cancer risk. Because the diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, it contains many phytochemicals that may provide a range of health benefits. Following a strict raw food diet that has no animal products may not give you enough protein, iron, calcium, and other important minerals, especially if you are having chemotherapy or other breast cancer treatment.
  • Antioxidants are found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, corn, carrots, mangos, sweet potatoes, soybeans, cantaloupe, oranges, spinach, nuts, lettuce, celery, liver, fish oil, seeds, grains, kale, beets, red peppers, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, and black and green tea. As a rule, dark-colored fruits and vegetables have more antioxidants than other fruits and vegetables. Garlic also is an antioxidant.
  • Research has shown that some phytochemicals may:
    • help stop the formation of potential cancer-causing substances (carcinogens)
    • help stop carcinogens from attacking cells
    • help cells stop and wipe out any cancer-like changes
  • Some of the most beneficial phytochemicals are:
    • beta carotene and other carotenoids in fruits and vegetables
    • resveratrol in red wine
    • polyphenols in tea
    • isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables (members of the cabbage family that include bok choy, collards, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and cauliflower)
  • Because these phytochemicals are found in the fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains you eat, it’s fairly easy to include them in your diet. A carrot, for example, has more than 100 phytochemicals. Nutrition researchers estimate that more than 4,000 phytochemicals have been identified, but only about 150 have been studied in depth.
  • Carotenoids: carrots, yams, cantaloupe, squash, and apricots their orange color, may help reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Anthocyanins, which give grapes, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries their dark color, have been shown in the laboratory to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.
  • Sulfides, found in garlic and onions, may strengthen the immune system.
  • Lignans: Omega-3 fatty acids are a good source of lignans – compounds that may have a weak estrogen effect. When a weak estrogen-like substance takes the place of your body’s natural strong estrogen in a breast cell’s estrogen receptor, then the weak substance can act as a relative anti-estrogen. By acting in this way, lignans might help work against breast cancer that depends on estrogen for its growth. But research to date on whether omega-3 fatty acids affect breast cancer risk has shown no conclusive association.
  • The highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids are found in coldwater fish, such as sardines, salmon, herring, tuna, cod, mackerel, halibut, and shark. These fatty acids are also found in lower concentrations in plant foods such as flaxseed, walnuts, Great Northern beans, kidney beans, navy beans, and soybeans. Some Registered Dietitians recommend eating a diet rich in fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids or eating 1 or 2 teaspoons of flaxseed every day.
  • Experts recommend varying the type of fish you eat to reduce the risk of eating too many contaminants. They also recommend eating wild-caught fish about twice a week and farm-raised salmon only about once a month.
  • Lycopene makes tomatoes red and gives other orangey fruits and vegetables their color. Processed tomatoes have the highest amounts of lycopene, but watermelon, pink grapefruit, and fresh tomatoes are also good sources. Some studies suggest that eating processed tomatoes with some oil or fat (for instance, tomato sauce) makes it easier for your body to absorb lycopene, compared to drinking raw tomato juice.
  • Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Studies suggest that people who eat a lot of tomato products have a lower risk of cancer of the lungs, prostate, and stomach. Lycopene may also help protect against cancers of the cervix, breast, pancreas, colon, and esophagus, but that has not been proven yet. The Nutrition Counseling Specialists