Fat & Cancer...How Much is too Much?
Cancer Institute has long recommended that fat be limited to
less than 30 percent of calories and that the fattiest meats
be replaced by leaner meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables.
These recommendations, however, are much too weak to prevent
cancer or to increase survival for those who have already
been diagnosed with the disease.
A large study of American nurses showed that those who
limited fat to 27 percent of their calories were not any
better off against cancer than those consuming more fat.
Some have interpreted this to mean that diet has nothing to
do with breast cancer. A more reasonable conclusion is that
the diets these women followed were still high-risk diets.
After all, a diet including regular consumption of animal
products and drawing nearly 30 percent of calories from fat
is nothing like the traditional Asian diets associated with
low cancer risk.
As important as it is to get the fat off your plate, that is
only the beginning. Other parts of the diet play important
roles in cancer prevention. Vegetables, fruits, grains, and
beans provide fibre, which helps the body to rid itself of
One way the body rids itself of sex hormones is through the
digestive tract. The liver pulls sex hormones from the
blood, chemically alters them, and sends them down the bile
ducts into the intestinal tract. There, the fibre from
grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans escorts them through
the intestine and finally out the door as wastes. At least
that is how the system is supposed to work. But chicken
breasts, beef, eggs, cheese, and all other animal products
contain no fibre at all. As these products have assumed
larger and larger portions of the American plate, they have
pushed off the grains, vegetables, beans, and fruits.
Without adequate fibre to hold them in the digestive tract,
sex hormones are reabsorbed back into the bloodstream where
they once again become biologically active. The hormones
your body was trying to rid are then recruited back into
circulation. Building your diet from grains, vegetables,
fruits, and legumes assures plenty of fibre for the body's
Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine