The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of breast cancer returning, according to new research. Even though the study was not extensive, keep in mind that Italians and Greeks – who eat more fruit and vegetables, but less dairy, eggs, and meat – are healthier than Americans. So maybe you should give this diet a try!
A research conducted on a group of more than 300 women with early-stage breast cancer reinforces previous discoveries. It suggests that this diet – rich in vegetables, fish and olive oil - may play an important role in cutting off cancer risks, according to Independent.co.uk.
Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (Asco) conference in Chicago, the study involved 199 women following their usual diet and 108 who had a Mediterranean diet. The women, who were in remission from breast cancer, were tracked for three years. 11 of the patients who were following their usual diet suffered a relapse while the women in the Mediterranean diet group were still in remission.
Professor Arnie Purushotham, Cancer Research UK's senior clinical adviser, said: "The preliminary results of this small study suggest that a Mediterranean diet could lower the risk of breast cancer returning, but we'd need much longer follow-up than three years to confirm the diet's impact. Further studies with more women are needed to understand more about the impact that diet can have on breast cancer survival and the biological reasons behind this.”
What does the Mediterranean diet consist of?
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people use to eat in countries like Italy and Greece. Their daily menu includes vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, fish, olive oil, yogurt and whole grains.
If you want to follow this diet, cut down on poultry, eggs, cheese, red and processed meat. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods as much as you can.
You should eat several servings of fruit and vegetables per day, one serving of whole grains and up to four servings of fish per week.