A study found that eating a lot of trans fats may increase breast cancer risk. Of the 25,000 European women who participated in the study, women who had the highest levels of trans fats in their blood were about twice as likely as women with the lowest trans fat levels to develop breast cancer.
Trans fats (also called trans-saturated fats or trans fatty acids) are formed when liquid vegetable oils go through a process called hydrogenation, which adds hydrogen to the oils to make them solids. These fats are commonly used in processed and fast food such as cookies, crackers, snack foods, fried foods, and pastries. Trans fats are used in food processing because they give foods desirable taste, shape, and texture. Foods made with trans fats also have a longer shelf-life. Solid shortening and stick margarine are common trans fats that you may have in your home.
Though trans fats were developed to replace saturated fats (which can cause heart problems), research has revealed that trans fats also cause health risks. Many local, state, and national health officials are trying to limit or ban trans fats.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and high in fruits and vegetables can benefit your overall health and reduce your risk of breast cancer. Visit the breastcancer.org What Does Healthy Eating Mean? page to read about:
- food groups
- portion size
- balancing your diet
and other nutrition topics.