The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet have previously been touted as a miracle antidote to a variety of health ailments, from heart attacks to strokes. Now, The Guardian reports on a new study which suggests the diet—heavy on fish, vegetables, fruit and olive oil—could have preventative effects when it comes to breast cancer, as well.
Presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, this trial study monitored the effect a Mediterranean diet had on 307 Italian breast cancer survivors. A hundred and ninety-nine women were prescribed an eating plan that included a daily intake of four portions of vegetables, one serving of grains, and three pieces of fruit, as well as four or more servings of fish each week, plenty of olive oil, some processed and red meat, and up to one alcoholic drink a day. The remaining participants were told to eat what they normally would, but were given healthful guidance by a dietician.
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After three years, the cancer researchers at Piacenza hospital found that 11 women in the group who consumed a typical diet experienced a return of breast cancer, while the 199 eating in a Mediterranean style remained cancer-free.