Here’s one more reason to follow the Mediterranean Diet! New research funded by the World Cancer Research Fund and published in the International Journal of Cancer found that the chances of developing postmenopausal breast cancer are reduced by up to 40% when following a Mediterranean Diet.
Researchers looked at the diet habits of just over 62,000 women aged from 55 to 69 beginning in 1986 and throughout the next 20 years. Their diet habits were scored based on how closely the women followed a Mediterranean Diet and researchers looked at how many developed breast cancer. After 20 years, the women who adhered most closely to the Mediterranean Diet were found to have a 40% lower risk of developing estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer. ER- breast cancer is a postmenopausal cancer that does not usually respond to hormone therapy. Based on the data, the researchers estimate that if everyone adhered to a Mediterranean Diet, 32.4% of ER-negative breast cancer cases could be avoided.
The Mediterranean Diet consists of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, breads, pasta, cereals, whole grains, potatoes, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds. Olive oil and fatty fish are also large components of the diet. Other benefits of adherence to the Mediterranean Diet include a reduced risk of heart disease, a lower BMI, and better memory.