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Choose more vegetables

Sunday, October 2, 2011

To the Editor:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a dietitian, I'm thinking more about green and less about pink.

All women should know that increasing the amount of vegetables and other plant foods in their diets can help protect against breast cancer.

Scientific research has linked breast cancer risk to dietary fat -- but plant-based diets are naturally low in fat.

Plant foods are also packed with antioxidants and high in fiber, which helps move excess hormones and other cancer triggers out of the body.

Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, exercising and limiting alcohol decrease breast cancer by about 38 percent, according to a recent report released by the American Institution for Cancer Research.

Vegetarian diets built from a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can play an important role in preventing cancer -- and they also help fight obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

This year, let's look past the pink-washing and focus on greenifying our diets to protect our health.

Sincerely,

Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.,

Director of Nutrition Education,

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,

Washington, D.C.