These Everyday Foods May Be Increasing Your Breast Cancer Risk

Researchers are finding that breast cancer risk can be lowered by staying at a healthy weight and maintaining a healthy diet. So doesn’t it make sense to cut food out of your daily menu that can make your risk spike? Here are the everyday foods that can increase your risk of getting breast cancer — pages 9 and 10 should be no-brainers — and the foods that can lower risk.

Biscuits

Flakey Buttermilk Biscuits

Heavy, bread-based foods aren’t the best. | iStock.com/bhofack2

Now to be clear, we aren’t saying that carbo-loading instantly produces cancer cells. (More on that on Page 4.) But it can in a roundabout way, increase your risk. According to Cancer Research UK, women with diets that are higher in saturated fat have a higher chance of becoming obese, which raises cancer risk. Processed bread products like dinner biscuits and cakes fall into that category.

Next: Here’s a food that is made almost entirely of saturated fat.

Cream

Bowl full of sour cream

This should be a no-brainer. | iStock.com/ivandzyuba

When it comes to having fats in your diet, it behooves you to know the difference between good fats and bad fats. Foods like fish and nuts contain good fats that can help you lower your chances of getting cancer. But bad fats, like the saturated fat found in heavy cream, can have the opposite effect and raise cancer risk, according to Cancer Research UK.

Next: Not all dairy products are created equal.

Certain cheeses

Organic sharp Cheddar cheese on a wooden cutting board.

Block of fresh cheddar cheese ready for slicing. | bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

As Medical News Today summarizes, not all dairy products can affect your risk of getting cancer. Eating a low-fat yogurt, for example, appears to be fine. But a study they reported on found that women who consumed a higher amount of dairy such as cheddar cheese and cream cheese had a 53% greater chance of getting breast cancer.

Next: Diet really does play a big role in cancer risk.

A high carbohydrate diet

Carbs on a wooden surface

Keep your daily diet balanced. | Bit245/iStock/Getty Images

Cancer Research UK tells us that there is no strong evidence linking carbohydrates to breast cancer. But they also point to a 2009 study indicating that women under 50 with a high carbohydrate diet were at a slightly higher risk. Plus, the sugar content in many carb-heavy products contributes to weight gain, and thus breast cancer risk. So really, a high-carb diet is not ideal.

Next: One of the biggest breast cancer culprits out there.

Butter

Stick of unwrapped butter

Stick with olive oil instead. | iStock.com/littleny

Truthfully, butter gets kind of a bad rap, but is actually better for you than all the substitutes that grew popular in the “anti-butter” hey day. That being said, large amounts of this condiment can raise your breast cancer risk. Butter’s high fat content makes it a threat to breast cancer risk — especially since it’s hidden in many of our favorite foods without us realizing it.

Next: Like cheese, only some forms of the following food raise risk.

Some chocolate products

Warm chocolate lava cake sprinkled with powdered sugar

A square of dark chocolate is a better after-dinner treat. | Viennetta/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Like with dairy products, there is conflicting evidence when it comes to chocolate’s role in breast cancer risk. The American Cancer Society tells us that the antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help reduce the damage of cells — which ups cancer risk — but studies have still yielded mixed results. Therefore, the ASC recommends limiting your chocolate intake to high quality dark chocolate, and not gobbling down too many sugar-y desserts.

Next: Back to dairy for just a second…

Hormone-treated milk

Milk

Go organic when it comes to dairy. | Dash_med/iStock/Getty Image

As we previously discussed, certain dairy products may increase your risk of breast cancer while others may help decrease risk. One thing that seems to be certain though, is that milk from cows that were injected with hormones have a negative effect. According to breast cancer awareness site ThinkBeforeYouPink.org, research has suggested “that a number of health concerns, including breast cancer,” are linked to milk from hormone-injected cows.

Next: Now when it comes to this next food, there’s no denying how bad it is.

Hot dogs

hot dogs

These should be avoided almost entirely. | iStock.com/liveslow

There is literally no nutritional value in stuffing a hot dog into your face. What’s worse, is that hot dogs and other heavily-processed fair like deli meats may be increasing your breast cancer risk. The American Cancer Society reported in 2015 that The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) officially classified processed meat as a carcinogen.

Next: Liquid calories = breast cancer risk.

Sugar-y beverages

Pepsi, Coca Cola And Fanta

Nix soda for an array of health benefits. | Radu Bercan/iStock/Getty Images

If all the foods on this list thus far have something in common, it’s that they aid an unhealthy diet, which in turn increases breast cancer risk. Such is the case with sugar-filled beverages like energy drinks, sodas, and the specialty drinks you can buy at every corner coffee shop. (More on that on the very last page.) Too much refined sugar and artificial sweetener leads to weight gain and potential obesity, which increases breast cancer risk.

Next: The worst food for cancer risk?

Bacon

Fried Bacon

Processed meats should be avoided at all costs. | iStock.com/HandmadePictures

If processed meats are considered carcinogens, then bacon may be the worst out of all of them. The Sun reported in early 2018 on a University of Glasgow which revealed that: “Middle-aged women eating more than 9g a day — the equivalent of two sausages or three rashers of bacon in a week — were up to a fifth more likely to develop breast cancer than those eating none.”

Instead, try eating more: Broccoli

Broccoli

This green is extra good for you. | joannagaines via Instagram

The American Cancer Society is big on modifying your diet in order to decrease your cancer risk, and getting as many plants into your daily menu as possible. Studies have found that women who consume more cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer, the National Cancer Institute.

Next: A good solution to all that deli meat you shouldn’t eat anymore.

Eat more fish

Vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish, mushrooms,

Feature your favorite fish with some healthy sides. | iStock.com/ Plateresca

Good fats like omea-3s help decrease your risk of breast cancer, and fish is a great source for it. Live Science explains that a balance of omega-3s and omega-6s — an unhealthy kind of fat — has an impact on whether a fish will positively impact breast cancer risk. They say on oily fish like salmon, which is rich in omega-3s, should do the trick.

Next: Next, a solution for the bad carbs you shouldn’t be eating.

Eat more high fiber

Salad

A salad a day is a healthy way to start. | Vitalssss/iStock/Getty Images

It’s simple — fiber-rich foods keep you fuller for longer, thus helping you combat over-eating and obesity which can increase cancer risk. Live Science points to research showing that “women who consumed high amounts of fiber during early adulthood had a 12% to 19% lower risk of developing breast cancer over the 20-year study.” These foods include vegetables, fruit, and some whole grains.

Next: And, a solution to cutting down on dessert…

Eat more fruit

Citrus fresh fruit

Citrus is a great way to start your morning and stay healthy. | Sarsmis/Getty Images

Not all sugars are bad, and having more fruit in your diet can definitely prove that. Plus fruits have fiber, which helps decrease your risk of developing breast cancer. Apples, blueberries, and apricots are just a few fruits that the American Institute for Cancer Research lists as fiber-rich foods to have in your diet.

Next: Last but not least…

Drink more coffee?

Latte

Could coffee decrease your risk? | Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

There was previously fear that coffee increased cancer risk. But as Cancer Research UK reported in 2016, the IARC concluded that there was no evidence to suggest a link. In fact, there is emerging information suggesting that coffee may actually decrease risk. Of course, any chance of it decreasing breast cancer risk probably goes away as soon as you turn it into a syrup and whipped cream filled cafe drink that’s loaded with sugar.

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