A healthy breast cancer diet featuring olive oil is important

The Benefits of a Healthy Breast Cancer Diet

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we know all too well that this is something that affects almost everyone in some way. According to BreastCancer.org, about 1 in 8 U.S. women (around 12.4%) will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. While this is a staggering statistic, we believe that this month (and every month, really) it’s important to highlight the benefits of a healthy breast cancer diet for both breast cancer survivors and those currently battling.

Recommended Breast Cancer Diet

A healthy breast cancer diet featuring olive oil is important

 

While there is no single food or diet that can prevent or cause breast cancer, the individual choices you make within your diet can make a real difference. To paraphrase a section from one of our favorite books on the subject, The Pink Ribbon Diet by Mary Flynn, RD and Nancy Verde Barr: olive oil is the main fat in a traditional Mediterranean diet and researchers have studied the role that olive oil plays in the overall health of this population. They found that this high-fat diet was related to a decrease in cancer in general, and further research showed that “the relationship between olive oil and breast cancer seems to be graded; that is, the more olive oil a person consumes, the lower the risk of breast cancer.” (p. 23)

We’ve talked before about the health benefits of olive oil, but it also relates to a well-balanced breast cancer diet. Olive oil contains a number of risk-reducing phytonutrients such as:

  • Oleocanthal: a compound that decreases inflammation
  • Squalene: which has been shown to be a tumor inhibitor
  • Lignans: they have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells
    (Pink Ribbon Diet, p.24)

As much as we love our olive oil and all of its incredible health benefits, before you decide to start guzzling it by the gallon we’d like to note that the important thing to focus on here is that there are many health benefits to eating a Mediterranean-style diet, of which olive oil is a key component. The main focus of this breast cancer diet is to eat healthy in order to avoid unhealthy weight gain. The National Cancer Institute guidelines for cancer prevention notes that by doing the following you can help decrease the chance of a breast cancer recurrence:

  • Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Decrease your fat intake to less than 30 percent of calories
  • Minimize your intake of cured, pickled and smoked foods
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep your alcohol consumption to moderate

 

Breast cancer is a terrible disease and while there is no cure (yet!), we’d like to share some incredible resources that we hope will help in your journey to achieve a healthy breast cancer diet:

 

If you have any questions about the health benefits of olive oil and how to use it in your breast cancer diet, we’d love to hear from you! Stop by our shop, or reach out on our contact page.