Native Mexican Diet Linked To Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Jan 13, 2009 by

Native Mexican Diet Linked To Lower Breast Cancer Risk

A study, called the Four-Corners Breast Cancer Study, was carried out to ascertain how specific dietary choices affected breast cancer risk. Women from 4 states in the United States – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah – were involved in the study.

The dietary habits of breast cancer sufferers were compared with those of randomly selected women. These were obtained through a questionnaire.

5 main dietary patterns were identified:

* Western diet – containing fast foods; gravy; high-fat dairy foods; high-fat, high-sugar desserts; margarine; polyunsaturated fats; potatoes; red and processed meats; refined grains; and sauces.

* Native Mexican diet – using legumes; meat dishes; Mexican cheeses; soups; and tomato-based sauces.

* Prudent diet – emphasizing fruit and fruit juice; legumes; low amounts of dairy; soups; vegetables; and whole grains.

* Mediterranean diet – containing alcohol; high-fat salad dressings; poultry; salad greens; seafood; and vegetables.

* Dieter diet – using diet drinks; low-fat dairy margarine and salad dressings; low-fat high-sugar desserts; and sugar substitutes. Also avoiding butter; colas; high-fat dairy products and salad dressings.

The study team discovered that incidence of breast cancer was the lowest among those who consumed the Native Mexican diet. On the flip side, those who consumed the Western and Prudent diets had the highest risk of the disease.

The team is not exactly sure what it is about the Native Mexican diet which offers protection against breast cancer. As revealed in another study, it could well be the phytochemicals found in foods in the Native Mexican diet.

Point to note – Native Mexican food is very different from the Tex-Mex foods commonly found in the US. The American version, for example, uses a lot more cheese, and also uses tortillas made from flour, as supposed to corn. These points were raised by Sue Cunningham, PhD, RD, Nutritionist.

It is really no surprise at all that the Western diet fared badly in this comparison study, is it?

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