Do fatty diets lead to a higher breast cancer risk?

With a new diet or weight loss plan filling column inches almost every week, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to believe and what to dismiss as the latest fad. This week’s papers broke the news that, following new research, high fat diets can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

This study, which was published by the National Institute of Cancer, links dietary intake to whether participants subsequently developed breast cancer over the next 11 years. The results showed that women with the highest fat and saturated fat intake were more likely to develop breast cancer, especially the type which is linked to oestrogen levels.

Women who ate the most saturated fat – 50 g per day, which is double the recommended level – were 30 per cent more likely to develop the disease.

However, these population studies are sometimes difficult to interpret. We know that women with more fat in their diets will often be heavier and less active, which has the potential to increase breast cancer risk. Although researchers try to take these factors into account, we need to consider whether or not these other factors may account for the relationship between fat and cancer risk.

Provided you are a healthy weight and don’t consume too many calories overall, the amount of fat in your diet shouldn’t make a difference to the risk of developing breast cancer.

At Genesis, our evidence suggests women should maintain a healthy weight by controlling their calorie intake and undertaking regular exercise to have the best chance of preventing the disease.

We developed The 2-Day Diet to encourage people to make small adjustments to their lifestyles and in turn, cut their risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Through a low calorie, low carb diet two days a week and a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet during the rest of the week, followers can lose almost twice as much fat around their waist than those who are trying to follow a daily calorie-controlled diet.

Find out more about The 2-Day Diet here: