According to a new study in Spain, women who consumed more olive oil were less likely to develop breast cancer over a period of 5 years, over a group of women who consumed a low-fat diet. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked back at a previous cardiovascular study of 4300 postmenopausal women. The women were divided into 3 groups. Two groups ate a traditional Mediterranean diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil, and very little red meat or processed foods.) Of these 2 groups, one received an extra liter of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) per week for their families, and the second was given an allotment of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds. The control group was asked to stick to a low fat diet, instead of the Mediterranean diet.
After 5 years, the women in the olive group were 68% less likely to develop breast cancer than the low fat group, and the group that received mixed nuts was 41% less likely. The team calculated that for each additional 5% of calories that come from olive oil, women could reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by about 28%.
The Mediterranean diet is already known for its healthy benefits and this study is one more point in the plus column for boosting your fruits, veggies, fish and olive oil consumption, while limiting sweets, processed food and red meat.
The most important step in reducing breast cancer is to schedule your yearly mammogram for early detection. The doctors at The Woman's Clinic are always available to help you through all life stages.