Health

Eating Ultra-Processed Foods May Up Breast Cancer Risk in Younger Women

Risk factors for breast cancer in premenopausal women can be due to a number of different reasons, such as getting older, having a family history of breast cancer or having dense breasts. But now there’s growing research that suggests eating ultra-processed foods, which have increasingly become part of the American diet, may increase breast cancer risk.

Ultra-processed foods typically contain large amounts of trans fats, sugars, sodium, and artificial flavorings and preservatives, all to make foods last longer on shelves and taste better. Ultra-processed foods are also known for the essential nutrients they don’t contain — like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Such foods include ready-to-eat salty snacks, packaged cookies, cakes and bread, most breakfast cereals, hot dogs and cold cuts, frozen meals, and fast food, cites Harvard Health Publishing.

Already linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, ultra-processed foods are also a possible culprit in cancer, particularly breast cancer, recent research published in eClinical Medicine suggests.

For the study, researchers found that higher consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with an increased risk of developing and dying from cancer, and that the risk of dying from breast cancer was even higher.

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