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  • Healthy Recipes Introduction

    Recipe search tool

    The recipe search tool lets you search by cuisine, ingredients, cook time, special diets and many other filters. Once you make your selections, a complete list of recipes that meet your search criteria will appear.

    These recipes are provided by Natural Standard, the authority on complementary and integrative therapies. They are meant to encourage healthy (and delicious) food choices, not necessarily reduce your risk of breast cancer.   



    Healthy eating and breast cancer risk

    Eating fruits and vegetables may slightly lower the risk of some breast cancers [1-2]. Most studies have not found a link between other types of foods and breast cancer [3-6]. However, a healthy diet promotes overall health and may help protect against other types of cancer and other diseases [7-9].

    Along with regular exercise, a healthy diet is a good way to maintain a healthy weight. While we do not fully understand how diet affects breast cancer, body weight is related to breast cancer risk and overall survival. For women who are postmenopausal, being overweight and weight gain increase breast cancer risk [10-11]. And for survivors, being overweight and weight gain may reduce survival [12-14].

    Breast cancer survivors should follow the same healthy diet recommended for everyone. To promote overall health and possibly reduce the risk of breast cancer, everyone should try to [8-9]:*

    • Be physically active (get regular exercise).
    • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. (Survivors who are overweight or obese should limit high-calorie foods and beverages and increase physical activity to help with weight loss.)
    • Eat at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables every day.
    • Choose 100 percent whole grain foods (such as 100 percent whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, millet and quinoa).
    • Limit red meat and processed meat. Choose chicken, fish or beans more often.
    • Limit "bad" fats (saturated and trans fats). These are found in foods such as red meat, fatty deli meats, poultry skin, full fat dairy, fried foods, margarine, donuts and microwave popcorn.
    • Eat "good" fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats). These are found in foods such as olive and canola oil, nuts and natural nut butters, avocado and olives.
    • Limit alcohol intake to less than one drink of alcohol a day for women and fewer than two drinks a day for men.

    Adapted from the American Cancer Society's Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity [8-9].

    *Being physically active, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol and to a lesser degree, eating fruits and vegetables may help lower your risk of breast cancer. Other factors are good for your overall health and may help lower the risk of other types of cancer.

    Learn more about healthy behaviors and breast cancer risk.

    Learn more about specific dietary factors and breast cancer risk.

    Learn more about body weight, weight gain and breast cancer risk.

    Learn more about healthy behaviors and breast cancer survival.

    Organic foods

    At this time, there is no research to show that organic foods are more nutritional or better for your health than foods that are farmed by conventional methods [8].

    Learn more about organic foods.


    1. Aune D, Chan DS, Vieira AR, et al. Fruits, vegetables and breast cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 134(2):479-93, 2012.
    2. Jung S, Spiegelman D, Baglietto L, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of breast cancer by hormone receptor status. J Natl Cancer Inst. 105(3):219-36, 2013.
    3. Smith-Warner SA, Speigelman D, Adami HO, et al. Types of dietary fat and breast cancer: a pooled analysis of cohort studies. Int J Cancer. 92:767-774, 2001.
    4. Missmer SA, Smith-Warner S-A, Spiegelman D, et al. Meat and dairy food consumption and breast cancer: a pooled analysis of cohort studies. Int J Epidemiol. 31(1):78-85, 2002.
    5. Prentice RL, Chlebowski RT, Patterson R, et al. Low-fat dietary pattern and risk of invasive breast cancer: the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial. JAMA. 295(6):629-42, 2006.
    6. Dong JY, Zhang L, He K, Qin LQ. Dairy consumption and risk of breast cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 127(1):23-31, 2011.
    7. McCullough ML, Patel AV, Kushi LH, et al. Following cancer prevention guidelines reduces risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 20(6):1089-97, 2011.
    8. Kushi LH, Doyle C, McCullough M, et al. for the American Cancer Society 2010 Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. American Cancer Society Guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention: reducing the risk of cancer with healthy food choices and physical activity. CA Cancer J Clin. 62(1):30-67, 2012.
    9. Rock CL, Doyle C, Demark-Wahnefried W, et al. Nutrition and physical activity guidelines for cancer survivors. CA Cancer J Clin. 62(4):243-74, 2012.
    10. van den Brandt PA, Spiegelman D, Yaun S, et al. Pooled analysis of prospective cohort on height, weight, and breast cancer risk. Am J Epidemiol. 152(6):514-527, 2000.
    11. Eliassen AH, Colditz GA, Rosner B, et al. Adult weight change and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. JAMA. 296(2):193-201, 2006.
    12. Protani M, Coory M, Martin JH. Effect of obesity on survival of women with breast cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 123(3):627-35, 2010.
    13. Ewertz M, Jensen MB, Gunnarsdóttir KA, et al. Effect of obesity on prognosis after early-stage breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 29(1):25-31, 2011.
    14. Kroenke CH, Chen WY, Rosner B, Holmes MD. Weight, weight gain, and survival after breast cancer diagnosis. J Clin Oncol. 23(7):1370-8, 2005.

    Updated 06/26/14


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