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Importance of eating right

Dear Editor:

I was saddened to hear that former tennis star Martina Navratilova was diagnosed with breast cancer, but I’m so glad she has an excellent prognosis. I know Americans are looking forward to her full recovery and also looking for ways to protect themselves and their loved ones from this disease.

The foods girls eat during childhood and throughout their lives appear to have an important effect on breast cancer risk. Countries with a higher intake of fat, especially animal fat, have higher breast cancer rates. The American diet, of course, is centered on animal products, which tend to be high in fat and low in important nutrients known to help prevent cancer.

But studies show that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other low-fat vegetarian foods may decrease the incidence of breast cancer. A low-fat, plant-based diet can also help women with breast cancer greatly reduce their risk of recurrence. For more information about how a healthy diet can help fight cancer, visit http://www.cancerproject.org.

Joseph Gonzales, R.D.

staff dietitian, The Cancer Project, Washington, D.C.


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