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THE BREAST CANCER PREVENTION DIET: AVOID TRANSFATTY ACIDS

The worst of all omega-6 foods are those that have been chemically altered into transfatty acids by a process called hydrogenation. This process makes potato chips crisper, shelf life longer, and the fat firmer. Researchers looking at the actual amount of transfatty acids stored in body fat found that those women who stored the most transfatty acids had a 40 percent increase in their risk of breast cancer. To avoid transfatty acids, don't buy foods with the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" on the label. These can reduce the production of the healthy prostaglandins. Good prostaglandins decrease the booster effect in breast duct cells. You will hear food companies loudly complain that these fats are as little as 2 percent of the diet. They are right. But here's the rub. Fat cells, including those in the breast, are thought to concentrate transfatty acids, so although your intake may be small, the amount in your breast may be high. The most obvious source of transfatty acids is stick margarine, which can contain up to 17 percent transfat. But most transfats are hidden from you, in commercial baked goods, French fries, fried foods, crackers, and cookies. Trans-fats' biggest risk is that of heart disease. By replacing the 2 percent of transfats in the diet, heart disease risk dropped 53 percent, as reported in the Harvard Nurses Health Study.

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