Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, & Chicken

Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, & Chicken
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Breast cancer survivors may reduce their chances of survival if they eat too much saturated fat, found primarily in the American diet in cheese, chicken, and junk food.

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Though small consolation, one benefit of the fact that breast cancer is now the #1 cancer among women is that breast cancer survival is a very active area of research. For example, this major 2011 study, which followed about 4,000 women with breast cancer for seven years.

Not all of them made it.

The researchers tried to figure out if there were any dietary factors that may have been associated with their early demise. They found two things, and the first was saturated fat intake. Those women who ate the most saturated fat after diagnosis increased their disk of dying in those seven years by 41%. So, where is saturated fat found in our diet, so we can avoid it?

First thing people tend to think of when they think of saturated fat is beef, like a big fat juicy steak. But no, beef doesn’t even make the top five. This is from the National Cancer Institute. #1, cheese; #2, pizza; which is basically another way of saying cheese; #3 is grain-based desserts, which means primarily cakes, cookies, and doughnuts—which is why pink doughnuts may not be the best way to celebrate breast cancer awareness month—then #4, ice cream; and #5, chicken.

You thought pink doughnuts were bad? I’m not making this up. And, of course, grilling and frying meats makes them particularly carcinogenic due to heterocyclic amine formation, so KFC better donate to breast cancer research.

You’ve heard me talk about this before. Chicken is not a low-fat food—even skinless and steamed, and, in fact, one of the top five contributors of saturated fat in the American diet. Then comes pork, burgers, Mexi—which uses lots of lard—beef, and reduced fat milk, which is only 2% fat—by weight. But by calories (which is what matters in the body), reduced fat milk is 30% fat. It’s like if you took a stick of butter, and dunked it into a cup of water, and said see, now it’s only 50% fat. No, it’s 100% fat. The water doesn’t count.

But anyways, these are the top ten foods to stay away from to decrease our saturated fat intake, which may not only help prevent breast cancer in the first place, but to improve survival for those that have it.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to MCB and Renee Comet via Wikimedia Commons.

Though small consolation, one benefit of the fact that breast cancer is now the #1 cancer among women is that breast cancer survival is a very active area of research. For example, this major 2011 study, which followed about 4,000 women with breast cancer for seven years.

Not all of them made it.

The researchers tried to figure out if there were any dietary factors that may have been associated with their early demise. They found two things, and the first was saturated fat intake. Those women who ate the most saturated fat after diagnosis increased their disk of dying in those seven years by 41%. So, where is saturated fat found in our diet, so we can avoid it?

First thing people tend to think of when they think of saturated fat is beef, like a big fat juicy steak. But no, beef doesn’t even make the top five. This is from the National Cancer Institute. #1, cheese; #2, pizza; which is basically another way of saying cheese; #3 is grain-based desserts, which means primarily cakes, cookies, and doughnuts—which is why pink doughnuts may not be the best way to celebrate breast cancer awareness month—then #4, ice cream; and #5, chicken.

You thought pink doughnuts were bad? I’m not making this up. And, of course, grilling and frying meats makes them particularly carcinogenic due to heterocyclic amine formation, so KFC better donate to breast cancer research.

You’ve heard me talk about this before. Chicken is not a low-fat food—even skinless and steamed, and, in fact, one of the top five contributors of saturated fat in the American diet. Then comes pork, burgers, Mexi—which uses lots of lard—beef, and reduced fat milk, which is only 2% fat—by weight. But by calories (which is what matters in the body), reduced fat milk is 30% fat. It’s like if you took a stick of butter, and dunked it into a cup of water, and said see, now it’s only 50% fat. No, it’s 100% fat. The water doesn’t count.

But anyways, these are the top ten foods to stay away from to decrease our saturated fat intake, which may not only help prevent breast cancer in the first place, but to improve survival for those that have it.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to MCB and Renee Comet via Wikimedia Commons.

Doctor's Note

Note that the video said two things on their diets. I’ll deal with the second tomorrow. This is not my first video on cancer survival (as opposed to prevention). See also Saturated Fat & Cancer ProgressionSoy & Breast Cancer Survival; and Slowing the Growth of Cancer. I also have a bunch of videos on saturated fat. The two most popular are probably Dietary Guidelines: From Dairies to Berries, and Trans Fat, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. For a comparison with a plant-based chicken product, see Chicken vs. Veggie Chicken. But there are also a few saturated plant fats. See, for example, Is Coconut Milk Good For You?

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer Survival and SoyHealth Food Store Advice: Often Worthless or WorstHow Does Meat Cause Inflammation?Breast Cancer Survival and SoyEating Green to Prevent CancerHow Tumors Use Meat to GrowMushrooms for Breast Cancer PreventionFoods That May Block Cancer Formation; and Flax and Breast Cancer Survival.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

18 responses to “Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, & Chicken

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  1. Note that the video said two things in their diets. I’ll deal with the second tomorrow. This is not my first video on cancer survival (as opposed to prevention). See Saturated Fat & Cancer Prevention, Soy & Breast Cancer Survival, and Slowing the Growth of Cancer. I also have a bunch of videos on saturated fat; the two most popular are probably Dietary Guidelines: From Dairies to Berries and Trans Fat, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. For a comparison with a plant-based chicken product, see Chicken vs. Veggie Chicken, but there are also a few saturated plant fats. See Is Coconut Milk Good For You?. And, if you’d like, hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.




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  2. I sure wish I could get all the women I know with breast cancer to listen to this stuff!!!! Not to mention all the healthy girls and women. This info should be front-page news. Our society is seriously messed up.




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    1. I agree. The role of nutrition in health is not taken seriously. People assume chronic illnesses are a result of chance, and are incurable. People also rely on the idea of “moderation”, which is a useless word since nobody knows how much is too much. The message needs to be thrown out there more, Dr. Greger should talk on NPR.




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  3. I was diagnosed with breast cancer Oct of 2011. I was given the book The China Study to read. I read it three times then went cold turkey on plant based diet and never looked back. I ate chicken alot because every tells you its better, wrong!!! I opt out of chemo & radiation even though I am stage IV cancer. Some my tumors are gone & some shrunk. More women need to know this, before its too late.




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    1. Yes, poultry in general is the perpetrator. Organic vs conventional makes little difference in the content of the meat. Saturated fat and carcinogens from cooking meat are unavoidable whether organic or conventional.




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  4. I would love to see a video detailing the study about heterocyclic amines, and addressing the question of is there a safe way then to cook meat and fish?




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  5. Chicken and other poultry is far more similar to plants in fatty acid content than red meats- most of it is poly and highly inflammatory. But saturated fat is NOT associated with disease. T. Colin Campbell states this clearly as recently as this last April. He says that in his research, plant fats (polys) were inflammatory and animal fats (saturated) are not, and as such, are not associated with disease.




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  6. I didn’t know chicken was one of the top contributors of saturated fat. Is this chicken in general or fried chicken. I would think I would be fried chicken because of all the oil used to cook it.




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    1. The top contributors to saturated fats in a person’s diet is based on what people actually eat not the percentage by calories in a particular food, else coconut oil and butter would be very near top of list. Apparently people eat a lot more of regular chicken vs fried chicken.




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  7. I just love this Dr G so much. A blast of laughs and fun with erudite and such comprehensively studied info. Can’t say anough about you Dr G. (I found this vid as an extension from todays vid on breast cancer and wine – and that he/you make these kinds of links available for thos of us who say well what about this and that thought, is just thoroughgoing invesigative, noze-to-the-ground journalizm. . . . you just don’t see any more. What a dude. Let me go before the poor man is greased to dripping. Lol. ;))




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  8. good stuff! I think for everyone who can’t seem to figure out how to approach folks with these facts, we must understand we are fighting a culture, a culture that takes time to change. We must continue to be respectful and understanding that it will take time. We need more big name celebrities and athletes coming around and that will help.




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  9. Hi I have been having a difficult time swallowing Chicken breast meat My radiologist warned me about this 10 years ago when I was getting radiation for the breast cancer it did not become a real problem until about 5 years ago what did radiation leave behind that could cause this ?




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