Recommendation

Rationale

Notes

Maintain a healthy weight.

Being overweight or obese is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.

Maintaining an appropriate weight is especially relevant for postmenopausal women.

Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Antioxidants, such as carotenoids, are present at high levels in fruits and vegetables and may help protect against breast cancer.

Red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables are usually rich in carotenoids.

Eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Essential fatty acids may suppress cancer formation.

Seek out monounsaturated fats, such as those in olive or canola oil, avocados, and nuts. Eat salmon.

Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day.

Alcohol may increase levels of estrogen in blood.

Estrogen imbalance can contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Eat 20-35 grams of fiber daily.

Diets high in fiber may reduce estrogen levels.

Good sources of soluble fiber include beans, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.

Sources: Jaime S. Ruud, RD, research analyst in the department of nutritional science and dietetics at the University of Nebraska and author of Nutrition and the Female Athlete (CRC Press, 1996); American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org.