Foods & Products to Avoid for Breast Cancer By Lynn Adada
Foods & Products to Avoid for Breast Cancer By Lynn Adada
No single food or diet can prevent or cause breast cancer, but a person’s dietary choices can make a difference to their risk of developing breast cancer or their overall well-being while living with the condition. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women; however, it does affect men as well.
So, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Licensed Nutritionist and Dietitian, Lynn Adada, will go through what foods and beauty products are best to avoid to prevent breast cancer or to reduce the effects of breast cancer.
Foods To Avoid To Reduce Or Prevent Breast Cancer
Diet is thought to be partly responsible for about 30% to 40% of all cancers. No food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer. But some foods can make your body the healthiest it can be, boost your immune system, and help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible. Research has shown that getting the nutrients you need from a variety of foods, especially fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, can make you feel your best and give your body the energy it needs. Eating food grown without pesticides may protect against unhealthy cell changes associated with pesticide use in animal studies.
While certain foods may protect against breast cancer, other foods may increase your risk.
As such, it’s best to reduce your intake of the following foods and beverages — or avoid them altogether:
Alcohol use, especially heavy drinking, may significantly increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Fast food
Eating fast food regularly is associated with many downsides, including an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and breast cancer.
- Fried foods
Research shows that a diet high in fried foods may significantly increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Processed meats
Processed meats like bacon and sausage may raise your risk of breast cancer. One analysis of 15 studies linked high processed meat intake to a 9% greater breast cancer risk.
- Added sugar
A diet high in added sugar may significantly raise your risk of breast cancer by increasing inflammation and the expression of certain enzymes related to cancer growth and spread.
Foods To Consume To Reduce Or Prevent Breast Cancer
If you have breast cancer, you’re most likely undergoing chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or are taking drugs. Your treatment depends on the type and stage of your cancer. You may also need radiation. Among the different side effects, you may have lost your appetite.
Although it can be difficult, making good food choices can help nourish your brain and body as you keep fighting the disease.
Here’s a quick guide to follow to reduce inflammation for those suffering from breast cancer or those looking to avoid it as much as possible.
- whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, protein sources like chicken and turkey, fatty fish like trout or salmon, and plant-based proteins sources like lentils and nuts.
- foods high in healthy fats and protein. If you need to maintain or gain weight, incorporate sources of healthy fat like nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive oil as well as protein sources like eggs, chicken, lentils, and fish. Protein-rich foods are especially important for maintaining muscle mass.
- blended liquids such as milkshakes, smoothies, juices, or soups for those times when you don‘t feel like eating solid foods.
- high fiber foods like whole grains, flax seeds, legumes, vegetables, and fruits to treat constipation.
Beauty Products To Avoid To Reduce Or Prevent Breast Cancer
When it comes to health, it’s not just about what we put in our bodies that matters. It’s about what we put on our bodies, too. While the chemicals in cosmetics make us look, feel, and smell better, research strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of these chemicals may contribute to the development of cancer in people. But because personal care products contain a diverse combination of chemicals, it's nearly impossible to show a definite cause and effect for any specific chemical on its own.
Still, many of these chemicals are considered hormone disruptors. Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body's hormonal balance. Because estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, many women choose to limit their exposure to these chemicals that can act like estrogen.
Here are Lynn’s tips to help you fend off breast cancer.
- Read ingredient labels
It is perfectly legal for companies to use ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm in the cosmetics and personal care products we use every day.
This is a list of harmful and toxic ingredients to avoid at all costs and we recommend that you save it when cosmetics shopping:
Preservative. Labeled as: methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, propyl-
Plasticizer and Skin Conditioner. Labeled as: DBP (dibutyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), BPA (Bisphenol)
Preservative. Labeled as: Formaldehyde, Quanternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
Anti-bacterial. Labeled as: Triclosan
Fragrance. Labeled as: Fragrance, Parfum
Emollient. Labeled as: Cyclomethicone, Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, and Cyclohexasiloxaneand
Synthetic Antioxidants. Labeled as: BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
Surfactants, Emulsifiers, and Skin Conditioners. Labeled as: PEG, Polyethylene, Polyethylene Glycol, Polyoxyethylene, Ceteareth
Emollient. Labeled as: Petroleum Jelly, Mineral Oil
Preservative. Labeled as: Phenoxyethanol
- Avoid fragrance
The word fragrance is a cocktail of ingredients and may include dozens or more potentially harmful chemicals, and can be found in nearly half of all personal care products. Avoid purchasing and using products with the word fragrance or parfum on the label.
There’s no doubt that your diet can help prevent chronic diseases, including breast cancer. However, many other lifestyle choices may affect your cancer risk as well. Getting optimal sleep, refraining from smoking, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body weight may all lower your breast cancer risk. Keep in mind that breast cancer screening is vital for women’s health.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, don’t forget to schedule an appointment to get checked! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.