Our healthy tips

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Good nutrition is also about prevention: our health tips

There is a reason why your mother insisted that you eat all your broccoli: eating well is good for your health. Proper nutrition has many benefits for the body, both in the short and long terms! These include:  

  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases,
  • Benefits for mental health,
  • Lower risk of cancers!

Good eating habits and a healthy lifestyle are recommended for the prevention of breast cancer. Although they will not necessarily prevent you from getting breast cancer in your lifetime, they will reduce your chances of developing it. Find out more about our recommendations for taking care of your body.

1. Maintain a healthy weight

Studies have shown that obesity, especially after menopause, increases the risk of developing breast cancer[1]. Adopting healthy habits is therefore beneficial in all areas of your health. But how do you maintain a healthy weight? Good nutrition is an excellent way, and the following tips will give you more information on the good habits to adopt.

2. A colourful plate

You hear it pretty much everywhere: eating your fruits and veggies is good for your health! What’s more, they are practical because they can be eaten for all meals and snacks. Wondering if you have a good variety of vegetables on your plate? A good indication is to make sure that your plate is colourful at every meal.

A little tip: frozen or canned fruit and vegetables are as nutritious as their fresh counterparts[2]. You can keep some on hand to save time shopping. So no more excuses for not cooking more veggies!

Our healthy tips

3. Green and cruciferous vegetables

 “Cruciferous” vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, different types of cabbage, radishes, turnips, and more) are full of carotenoids, which are researched for their role in cancer prevention[3]. Don’t worry, you don’t have to start eating only broccoli, but you can incorporate a little more of it into your meals!

4. Fibre-rich foods

Incorporating fibre into your diet is easier than you might think because it’s everywhere. Here are some suggestions to make sure you get enough fibre on your plate[4]:

  • Choose whole grain products (bread, cereals, pasta, flour, etc.),
  • Opt for whole fruits over fruit juices, as the latter lose their fibre in the processing,
  • Legumes are not only high in fibre, they are also delicious in stir-fries, salads and soups.

5. Avoid high-fat foods

It is always best to choose low-fat foods for cooking. Don’t panic, you can still eat the same foods you like, such as milk, cheese and meat! Simply choose those with a lower fat content.

A recent study conducted at Université Laval suggests that consumption of high-fat dairy products may contribute to higher breast density[5]. Knowing that a high breast density is a risk factor for breast cancer[6], choosing low-fat dairy products could be a wiser choice.

6. Reduce alcohol consumption

A glass of red wine a day keeps the doctor away? WRONG!

An increasing number of studies show a link between alcohol consumption and the development of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. A recent study published in The Lancet Oncology said that 4% of new cancer cases in 2020 were attributable to alcohol consumption[7], so it is important to drink in moderation.

Our healthy tips

7. Take the time to cook

Limiting your consumption of processed foods and instead opting for fresh produce is a good habit to get into. Learning how to prepare fresh food is more beneficial for your health than buying it ready-made. Here are a few things you can try at home to make sure cooking is fun and not a chore:

  • Introduce your children to cooking and cook as a family,
  • Organize a “potluck” day with your friends and prepare meals to freeze,
  • Sign up for cooking workshops,
  • Find out about community cooking groups in your area.

8. Beware of myths!

There are claims that certain foods can prevent or even cure breast cancer. However, there are no foods that have been scientifically proven to have such powers. It is your lifestyle and overall diet that will influence your health.

Our healthy tips

9. The power of physical activity

To digest all the aforementioned nutrients, what better way than to be active! Physical activity also has many health benefits and reduces the risk of developing breast cancer[8]. You’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer? We’ve developed the My Active HealthTM program to guide you through your exercise regimen safely while managing your care plan.

A healthy lifestyle is very important. Even if there is no miracle recipe to prevent cancer, you can improve your chances by adopting these sound habits. Now, get cooking and enjoy your meal!

Bibliography

Canitrot, Elisabeth, and Caroline Diorio. « Dairy Food Consumption and Mammographic Breast Density: The Role of Fat ». Anticancer Research 39, no 11 (November 2019): 6197‑6208. https://doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.13828.

Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, « The goals of My Active Health ». (blog). February 18th, 2022. https://rubanrose.org/en/my-community/support-resources/my-active-health/the-goals-of-my-active-health-program/

Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation,  « Screening and risks factors ». Ruban rose, 2021. https://rubanrose.org/en/inform-me/all-about-cancer/screening-and-risk-factors/.

Guide alimentaire canadien. « Mangez des légumes et des fruits ». Guide alimentaire canadien, 3 juillet 2020. https://guide-alimentaire.canada.ca/fr/recommandations-en-matiere-dalimentation-saine/prenez-habitude-de-manger-legumes-fruits-grains-entiers-proteines/mangez-legumes-et-fruits/.

Les diététistes du Canada. « Accent Sur Les Fibres Alimentaires », October 2018. https://www.unlockfood.ca/fr/Articles/Fibre/Accent-sur-les-fibres-alimentaires.aspx.

National Cancer Institute. « Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention ». CgvArticle, June 15th, 2012. Nciglobal,ncienterprise. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet.

Rumgay, Harriet, Kevin Shield, Hadrien Charvat, Pietro Ferrari, Bundit Sornpaisarn, Isidore Obot, Farhad Islami, Valery E P P Lemmens, Jürgen Rehm, and Isabelle Soerjomataram. « Global Burden of Cancer in 2020 Attributable to Alcohol Consumption: A Population-Based Study ». The Lancet Oncology 22, no 8 (August 2021): 1071‑80. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00279-5.

World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. « Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer », 2018, 124.

[1]  World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research, « Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer ».
[2] Guide alimentaire canadien, « Mangez des légumes et des fruits ».
[3] National Cancer Institute, « Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention ».
[4] Les diététistes du Canada, « Accent Sur Les Fibres Alimentaires ».
[5] Canitrot et Diorio, « Dairy Food Consumption and Mammographic Breast Density ».
[6] Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation,  “Screening and risks factors”
[7] Rumgay et al., « Global Burden of Cancer in 2020 Attributable to Alcohol Consumption ».
[8]  QBCF « The goals of My Active Health