The Mediterranean diet, rich in plants, fish and olive oil, and low in meat and dairy products has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease and cancer, according to the study.
In the study, researchers found that women who were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet that was high in extra-virgin olive oil were 68 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who were advised only to reduce the amount of fat in their diets.
In the study, 4,152 post-menopausal women who had never had breast cancer were asked to follow one of three diets: One was a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil (extra-virgin olive oil accounted for 15 percent of their daily calories), the second was a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, and the third was a control diet, in which the women were advised to reduce the amount of fat they ate.
Women in the extra-virgin olive oil group were the least likely to develop breast cancer
The Mediterranean diet contains many components that have been suggested to have anti-tumor effects, Dr. Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Navarra in Spain and co-author of the study, told
He also Said, Extra-virgin olive oil in particular is rich in compounds called polyphenols, which have been shown in lab studies to have anti-cancer effects.
Researchers said, Women should be encouraged to eat more extra-virgin olive oil, salads with fresh vegetables and have fruit for dessert.
Women’s consumption of red meat and processed meat, sweet desserts, soda and fast food should be reduced to avoid cancer.