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DASH Away Breast Cancer: New Study Hints that the DASH Diet May Help Decrease Breast Cancer

  • Recently published study finds evidence that Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) may decrease risk of certain breast cancers
  • DASH Diet rated number 1 diet by US News and World Report
  • Try one of our household’s favorite legume recipes published below: Edamame Canellini Bean Salad

A registered Dietician shares healthy food choices for the DASH Diet. While the video focuses on the diet’s benefits on decreasing hypertension, a recent study shows the diet may help decrease certain types of breast cancer risks.

New research, noted in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds that women whose diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, high fiber grains and legumes may have a decreased risk of developing certain types of breast cancer.

DASH Diet and Breast Cancer

After following over 86,000 women in this Nurses Health Study for over 26 years, the findings showed that women with diets high in plant foods, but low in red meat, sodium and processed carbohydrates, tended to have a lower risk of developing estrogen receptor-negative breast tumors. This type of breast cancer equates to a quarter of the diagnosed breast cancers.

Researchers found that women who had a higher intake of fruits and vegetables had the greatest link to reduced breast cancer results. “The women who at the outset had the highest DASH “score” were 20 percent less likely to develop ER-negative breast cancer than those with the lowest DASH scores.” The focus was specifically on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, where the eating plan consists of vegetables, fruits, fiber-rich grains, legumes and nuts, and low-fat dairy products. It’s important to note that the DASH diet is rated the #1 diet plan by US News and World Report.

Mixed Conclusions on Diet Impact on Breast Cancer

The results, reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, do not prove that a plant-rich diet, itself, cuts breast cancer risk. It’s important to note that different studies have come to mixed conclusions on whether diet is connected to breast cancer. But recent research at Simmons College in Boston suggests the risk of estrogen receptor-negative breast tumors may be related to diet.

Bottom line, healthy eating habits generally lead to a healthier you. Also, women who eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits tend to take better care of themselves with a healthy lifestyle.

On average, U.S. woman have about a 12 percent chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime

If you are a women with a less than ideal diet, why not try introducing healthier foods into your diet one item at a time. I was never a big bean eater, but as I’ve learned more about healthy nutrition, I have started adding more beans to my diet.

My new favorite recipe is Edamame Cannellini Bean Salad (see recipe below). The recipe includes two types of beans (both high in fiber) and other good healthy ingredients, see recipe below. I figure any improvement, is better than no improvement.

One last thing on the DASH diet, it recommends that the average woman get four to five servings of vegetables and the same amount of fruit each day. It also recommends four to five servings of legumes, nuts and seeds per week.

Give this new recipe a try…

Recipe: Edamame Cannellini Bean Salad


  • 1 can Cannellini Beans drained
  • 1 cup frozen edamame beans
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup course grated asiago cheese


  1. In a skillet over medium heat add olive oil.
  2. When hot add rosemary sprigs and minced garlic.
  3. Toast in oil for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in edamame beans and drained cannellini beans until warm.
  5. Allow the toasted oil to soak into the beans for more intense flavor.
  6. Sprinkle with asiago cheese just before serving.

Mega fiber, mega protein and mega flavor – Bon Appetite!

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