High-fat diets linked to breast cancer

A recent study has discovered a link between large intakes of saturated fat during puberty and aggressive forms of breast cancer.

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The preclinical study found that before cancerous tumours appear, there are typically several changes in the breast including alterations in immune cells and increased cell growth. These changes continue into adulthood and can eventually lead to the early stages of breast cancer.

Women with a high fat intake were found to have a distinctive gene signature in their tumours that are associated with the more aggressive forms of breast cancer.

Professor Sandra Haslam from the Michigan State University has said the following:

“This is very significant because even though the cancers arise from random mutations, the gene signature indicating a basal-like breast cancer shows the overarching and potent influence this type of diet has in the breast.”

Researchers also noted that the experimental model did not involve any weight gain induced from the high-fat diet. This means that the findings do not only relate to those who are overweight, rather anyone who has a diet rich in saturated fat.

Following a diet that is low in saturated fat has many proven health benefits and with the revelation that it could reduce chances of developing breast cancer, it should be even more of a consideration for young women.

Ways to reduce fat in your diet:

  • Swap full-fat cream cheese for cottage cheese.
  • Grill meat rather than fry.
  • Limit fatty, red meats and go for lean poultry instead.
  • Opt for the veggie option when choosing a pizza.
  • Try sweet potato mash instead of deep-fried chips.
  • Choose frozen yogurt or sorbets instead of ice cream.
  • Have semi-skimmed or soya milk rather than full-fat varieties.
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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Content Producer for Memiah and writer for Nutritionist Resource and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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