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 Breast Health Tip #5: Fats to Avoid 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Dr. Christine Horner's Natural Secrets for Breast Health by . View all columns in series
BREAST HEALTH TIP 5: Fats to Avoid Avoid saturated animal fats, trans fats, and excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. All of these fats have been linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Certain types of fat are very bad for your body. They damage your overall health and significantly increase your risk of breast cancer and other serious diseases. The worst types of fats are saturated fats—especially animal fats—and fats that have been chemically altered, called trans fats or hydrogenated fats.

Saturated Fats

Eating a diet high in saturated animal fats, like those found in red meat and high-fat dairy, notably increases your risk of breast cancer. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2003 interviewed 90,655 women and found that young, pre-menopausal women between the ages of twenty-six and forty-six who consumed the highest amounts of red meat and high-fat dairy had a higher risk of breast cancer than those who ate only a small amount of these fats.

What’s interesting, according to the study’s principal researcher, Eunyong Cho, is that this study "found that earlier [dietary habits] have a stronger impact on later breast cancer risk. In other words, women had an increased risk if, as young adults, they had a higher intake of animal fat, mainly from meat and dairy fat." But don't think that this means there's nothing you can do now to reverse the damage. You can. Remember, other studies show that decreasing your saturated-fat intake lowers your estrogen levels and significantly reduces your danger of developing breast cancer.

When you eat saturated animal fats, they make the cells throughout your body more insulin-resistant, and consequently increase the level of insulin in our blood. This seemingly innocent, normal response actually brings on a flood of increased risk; high insulin levels are one of the biggest risk factors and promoters of breast cancer. Women with abnormally elevated insulin levels have a 283 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than those with normal insulin levels.

Saturated animal fats are a storehouse for concentrated toxic chemicals such as pesticides. Some of these chemicals mimic estrogen and make cell division in the breast speed up rapidly. The faster cells divide in your breast, the higher will be your risk of breast cancer. If the animals and animal products you eat were not organically raised, the level of toxic chemicals in them can be quite high. In addition, these animals are commonly given hormones and growth factors that, when you ingest them, speed up breast-cell division. These hormones are also very dangerous for women with breast cancer, because they cause breast tumors to grow more rapidly.

Organic, but Not Toxin-Free

Organically raised animals, by law, must be fed only organically grown foods. They cannot be given any antibiotics, hormones, or growth factors. Despite this, organically raised animals aren’t always completely toxin-free. Some of them may have small amounts of toxic chemicals concentrated in their fat. Why are there toxins in organic animals? Primarily because, instead up being confined in stalls, they graze in pastures. Although being outdoors is a good thing, our environment is contaminated with hundreds, if not thousands, of toxins. Rainwater may, and often does, contain poisonous chemicals. When it rains, these dangerous compounds fall onto the pasture and into the ponds where organic animals eat and drink.

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 About The Author
Christine Horner, MD is a board certified and nationally recognized surgeon, author, professional speaker and a relentless champion for women's health. She spearheaded legislation in the......moreChristine Horner MD, FACS
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