Could a healthy diet cuts risk of dying from breast cancer in older women?

A well-balanced, low-fat diet significantly lowers the risk of dying from breast cancer in postmenopausal women, based on new long-term data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Dietary Modification trial.

The balanced diet designed is one of moderation, and after nearly 20 years of follow-up, the health benefits are still accruing.

The findings revealed during a press briefing May 15 ahead of a presentation Jun 2 during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting.

This research makes clear there are not any down-sides, only up-sides to a more healthy diet, plus it adds to a growing level of studies showing similar positive effects across cancer types.

The trial enrolled 48,835 postmenopausal women without any previous breast cancer and with dietary fat accounting for at the very least 32 per cent of total daily calories. From 1993 to 1998, the women were randomly allocated to a usual-diet comparison group or a dietary intervention group that aimed to cut back fat intake to 20 per cent of daily calories and increase consumption of vegetables, fruit and grains.

Women into the balanced, low-fat diet group stuck with the diet for roughly 8.5 years. Many of them increased their intake of fruits, vegetables and grains and cut their daily fat intake to 25 per cent or less, although most did not reach the 20 per cent goal.

An overall total of 3,374 women developed breast cancer between 1993 and 2013. The low-fat diet failed to significantly reduce women’s risk of developing cancer of the breast – still, women within the dietary intervention group experienced a range of short- and long-term health advantages in comparison with women within the normal diet group. Specifically, that they had a 21 per cent lower danger of death from breast cancer and a 15 per cent lower chance of death from any cause through the follow through period.

Postmenopausal women with metabolic syndrome (increased blood pressure, high blood glucose, excess excessive fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels) were particularly prone to benefit from the dietary intervention.

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