View Full Version : Dietary Fats

Sandra in GA
09-02-2009, 07:56 AM
Welcome! We are so glad to have you on board. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last July, so I have been on this journey for about one year. During my initial chemo when my RBC was so depressed, I tried to increase my red meat intake along with folic acid to combat the anemia. After joining this site, I noticed that several members are vegetarians. Would there be a benifit in changing my diet to this to help decrease recurrances in the future? Now that I am on Herceptin and Tykerb, I eat a more balanced diet with more chicken and fish and less red meats.

Thank you so much for your advice.


09-02-2009, 08:27 AM
Hi Sandra. There was a large randomized clinical trial called the Women's Interventional Nutrition Study (WINS) that was done a couple of years ago. The results were very encouraging. The study participants followed a diet that provided 20% of calories from fat vs the general 30-40% typically eaten. They found a significant decrease in recurrence rates up to 24%. The benefit was especially significant for women with ER- breast cancer but benefit was also seen in those with ER+ disease. You can figure out your recommended fat grams by taking your weight and dividing by 6. (i.e. 165#/6=27g fat) The fat that is consumed in this eating plan should be "good" fats such as those found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish, etc. You will find that you eat fewer animal products due to the limitation in dietary fat but they don't have to be totally eliminated to achieve this level. You will also significantly increase fruit and vegetable intake for satiety which in turn has excellent benefit due to fiber and antioxidants. Of course, you always need to discuss any major dietary/lifestyle changes with your team of health care professionals to be sure the change is safe for your particular situation. I hope this helps to answer your question and let me know if you need any further questions or comments.

Sandra in GA
09-02-2009, 11:31 AM
Thank you so much for your answer. I am sure that my fat intake now is closer to the 30-40%. I intend to lower it. I use olive oil when cooking now and I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Do you have access to a chart that would give the fat amount in different meats? I know that I need to eat less of those. Again, welcome and thank you so much for giving your time and expertise.


09-02-2009, 11:50 AM
I don't know of a chart listing fat grams like the protein chart linked above but I am sure there is one out there. If you are tracking fat grams (or calories/carbs) in the diet I often recommend "The Calorie King: Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter" book which is small enough to carry in a purse and lists hundreds of foods including some restaurants. There is also a website at calorieking.com.

Sandra in GA
09-02-2009, 12:32 PM
Thank you. I will get the book!

09-03-2009, 12:43 PM
Hello, I am still learning how to use this site, but everytime I check in, I am so impressed! Tanya, Welcome. It's probably in front of my nose, but can you direct me to the chart that tracks fats? I note that I should only have about 23grams of fat/day(?) So, how exactly can I count those grams? Will the protein chart help?

Thanks so much to all of you out there who participate and who are living with br ca or in fear of recurrence/mets. I am about 6 mos. post-Herceptin now and feel wonderful!

09-03-2009, 12:50 PM
That's ok. I'm still learning the site too. The protein chart link is actually in the "introduction" thread but only lists protein. I recommend using "The Calorie King: Calorie, Fat, Carbohydrate Counter" Book (usually ~$7) or you can check it out online at www.calorieking.com (http://www.calorieking.com) .

lkc Gumby
09-05-2009, 08:39 AM
Hi Tanya ! I am so glad to see you on this board. I was dxed eith ER PR neg, her pos, Stage IIIC bc May of 05.
and am NED
i am a true beleiver in the importance of a good diet.
I have ground flaxseed daily, eat EVOO on everything and have decreased my red meat intake tremendously. I eat lots of nuts, fish, veggies, green tea, and try to stay away from the " white foods" Since I am a sweet craver, I occasionally cave and have a dessert.
I was wondering about pork. I've heard its good as long as it's lean.Is that true?

09-07-2009, 06:21 PM
Pork is a lot like red meat in that it depends on the cut. There are some very lean cuts of pork that can fit nicely into a low fat diet. Look for sirloin, tenderloin or cuts with little visible fat and trim off any excess. Also be cautious to use a lean preparation method like baking, broiling, grilling, etc.

09-08-2009, 06:18 AM
Linda, there are plenty of meats out there with really low fat content, especially game meat. I don't know if they prepare wild meat in the Bahamas, but we have plenty of wild turkey and venison that we fix in upstate NY, especially during hunting season. The fat content on these wild hunted meats is extremely low.

lkc Gumby
09-08-2009, 10:46 AM
Hi Robin, Thanks for this , The only wild meat we have down here is wild boar! and I think I'll pass on that.

02-25-2010, 08:27 AM
New from AICR Update...

Spurring Cancer Growth with Fat

Research shows that obesity increases the risk of developing many types of cancer. Now a group of researchers reporting in the journal Cell (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20079333?itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed _ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum&ordinalpos=1) have uncovered an enzyme that may show one way cancer cells use fat to spur cancer development.
In the lab study, scientists identified a new enzyme, known as MAGL that is highly elevated in aggressive cancer cells. In cancer cells, MAGL appears to latch onto free fatty acids from fat and turn it into a signaling molecule that promotes tumor development. In mice that were obese the aggressive cancer cells used the fat from tissue. In healthy-weight mice eating a high-fat diet, the cancer cells appeared to use the fat from the diet.

02-25-2010, 12:13 PM
Hi Tanya,

I think studies about fats are very important in regard to cancer. But I wonder if there is a difference in the fatty acids that the MAGL enzyme wants to latch onto. I wonder if the MAGL has a preference for latching onto fatty acids from animal fats vs vegetable fats? or maybe vs fats that have been created with the use of hormones or pesticides or herbicides or antibiotics? Most studies seem to lump all fats together when they draw conclusions, and yet... if there happens to be a very real difference between the types of fats eaten, then the researchers can end up drawing the wrong conclusion from their study just because the percentages of the mixture of the types of fats they studied led them in the wrong direction....

02-25-2010, 01:34 PM
AA, I think you are ahead of the research. It kind of reminds me of the way breast cancer was lumped as one disease before we understood the concept of hormone receptors. For now, we know that a low fat diet is beneficial but the details are sketchy.

02-25-2010, 08:29 PM
Thanks Tanya and everyone else.