October is breast cancer awareness month and I'd like to introduce you to Go Macro. GoMacro is a family-owned vegan food company that was started by a mother-daughter duo on their organic family farm. They have two different lines of products- MacroBars and Thrive. In honor of their co-founders breast cancer recovery, they have released a special “give-back bar” that donates 10% its proceeds to the Keep a Breast Foundation. I love this bar because it touches on some important nutritional concepts (antioxidants, fiber, plant-based). Learn more about the awesome Keep a Breast Foundation here. Let us get brought up to speed on some breast cancer stats:
According to Breastcancer.org, here are some recent statistics on breast cancer in the United States (source here):
- In 2016, there are more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2016, it's estimated that just under 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
|Amelia, Breast Cancer Survivor & her daughter: Co-founders of GoMacro|
Here’s the thing, no matter what illness or disease a person may become afflicted with in life, they can fight it better if they have been following a healthy lifestyle beforehand. Being an overweight woman is a risk factor for developing breast cancer, possibly because the more the fat cells grow, the more estrogen is produced from the fat cells. That production of excess estrogen can signal breast cell growth, which in turn increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
What can you do from a nutritional point of view?
Keep your weight in check. If you are overweight, please reach out to a Registered Dietitian. We devote our entire careers to helping our clients reach their nutrition goals and have so many strategies and tools available to help you do this.
Watch your alcohol intake. There is an association between regular alcohol consumption and increased risk of breast cancer. This is also correlated to the amount of alcohol consumed. Therefore, if you keep things moderate (1 glass of wine or beer as a woman), the risk is smaller than when drinking more and more often.
Increase your fruits and vegetables to 5 servings per day or 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. Sounds simple enough, right? Not so fast… According to the 2013 CDC reporting of the fruit & vegetable behaviors of adults in the US between 2007–2010, half of the total U.S. population consumed <1 cup of fruit and <1.5 cups of vegetables daily; 76% did not meet fruit intake recommendations, and 87% did not meet vegetable intake recommendations. See more here.
There is evidence that consumption of a plant-based diet is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer, as it is higher in antioxidants due to the increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Plant-based diets can also provide adequate fiber intake. Fiber is important for weight maintenance, healthy bowels, and much more. A plant-based diet is often lower in fat. Even if you are not someone who can make the transition to a completely plant-based diet (like myself), some small changes can be impactful. Even choosing better snack options. The GoMacro Sunny Uplift bar only has 4 grams of fat and is full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and iron. It is vegan & soy-free and I would love it if you all tried them because they are all so tasty. Use the coupon code: GOBOOBIES20 for a discount. Get them here.
Breast Cancer & Nutrition Resources: