Results from a new study presented at NUTRITION 2022 LIVE ONLINE show that eating more healthy plant-based foods and less unhealthy plant-based and animal foods helps prevent all types of breast cancer. The researchers defined healthy plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, vegetable oils, and tea or coffee. The less healthy plant based foods include fruit juices, refined grains, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages, and desserts.
The study followed over 65,000 postmenopausal women in France for an average of 21 years and found that those who followed a healthy plant-based diet had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer, while an unhealthy plant-based diet increased their risk of breast cancer by 20%. For purposes of the study, a plant-based diet did not mean a vegan or vegetarian diet but instead emphasized plant-based foods over animal-based ones.
As many studies have shown, health outcomes improve by eating mostly whole, plant-based foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Refined or processed foods and those that have added sugar, salt, or unhealthy fats should be eliminated or severely limited.