Breast cancer risk: animal food is not that bad

August 31, 2009 by  
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roast-beefAnimal food stuffs such as meat, poultry and dairy products have been incriminated as the bad guys behind many chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Consumption of red meat has been associated to poor heart health. Consumption of processed meat such as sausages has been linked to colorectal cancer. The presence of “bad fat” in animal food especially makes a very good case against it.

The risk for cancer is linked to genetics as well as modifiable lifestyles factors. The latter include diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, weight, and physical activity. Diet is supposedly the easiest lifestyle factor to modify.

Those at high risk for breast cancer are especially warned against consuming food coming from animals in the form of meat, eggs, and dairy products. However, previous research studies did not provide conclusive evidence to support this belief.

A statement from the American Society for Nutrition based on three recent studies states:

“First we all need to remember that there are really no such things as ‘bad’ foods. Second, observational studies that show associations between diet and health need to be considered with a proverbial grain of salt.” The recent studies have investigated the role of animal food stuff consumption in cancer development, particularly breast cancer.  The results have been published in the September issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Results of these studies reveal that moderate animal food consumption does not influence (neither increases nor decreases) risk for breast cancer.

American Society for Nutrition spokesperson Dr. Shelley McGuire says

“These studies clearly provide additional and strong evidence that consumption of meat and dairy products by women does not, by itself, increase breast cancer risk. Further, moderate and mindful consumption of these foods can be very important in attaining optimal nutrition for most women who often do not consume sufficient iron and calcium.”

I suppose this is good news for those who would love a piece of steak or a cup of yoghurt once in a while. Remember, the key word is MODERATION. Besides, you can enjoy these foods without the bad fat. Go for lean meat, grill instead of fry. Buy low-fat yoghurt. And don’t forget, fresh fruit and vegetable go well with animal food, too.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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