Being an “unhealthy” vegan may increase the risk of breast cancer in women by 20%, the study warns

Being an “unhealthy” vegan can INCREASE breast cancer risk in women by 20%, study warns

  • French researchers monitored the eating habits of 65,000 postmenopausal women
  • Those who adhered to a “healthy” plant-based diet had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer
  • But having an “unhealthy” one – including desserts – had a 20% higher risk.

Being vegan could increase your risk of cancer if you’re unhealthy, a study warns.

The academics found that women who followed an unhealthy plant-based diet were up to one-fifth more likely to develop breast cancer than those who ate healthier foods.

This included regular consumption of things like potato chips, fizzy drinks, and white rice.

But those who ate a healthy vegan diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, grains and vegetable oils, faced a 14% lower risk.

Experts said the results show that not all plant-based diets are equal in terms of health benefits.

The project followed 65,000 women in France for two decades and asked them to complete two dietary questionnaires in the course of the research.

Eating a lot of sugar or simple carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes, which have previously been linked to cancer.

And consuming too many of the unhealthy plant foods listed is a known cause of obesity, which can dramatically increase the risk of other cancers.

Being vegan can increase your risk of cancer – if you’re unhealthy, a study warns

Researchers from the Paris-Saclay University presented the results as an abstract at the Nutrition 2022 Live Online conference. The complete methodology has not yet been published.

They provided questionnaires to 65,574 postmenopausal women, who were 50 years old on average, and monitored cancer diagnosis rates.

The diets have been classified as “healthy” and “unhealthy” plant-based, or healthy or unhealthy, animal-based diets, based on their intake of 18 food groups.

This was used to classify the volunteers into five different groups, based on how well they adhered to each eating pattern.

Sanam Shah, author of the study, said, “What is different in our study is that we could unravel the effects of plant-based food quality, which hasn’t been the focus of previous studies on other dietary patterns.

“By evaluating healthy, unhealthy and animal-based foods, we thoroughly analyzed food intake considering the” healthiness “of the food groups.”

In 21 years, 3,968 have been diagnosed with the disease.

The researchers compared the rates among those following the different diets to calculate the risk.

People who ate the healthiest plant-based diet had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer, compared to those who went the other way.

Meanwhile, the opposite was true for those following an unhealthy plant-based diet.

Shad said: “These findings highlight that increasing the consumption of healthy plant foods and reducing the consumption of less healthy plant foods and animal foods could help prevent all types of breast cancer.”

He said plant-based diets don’t necessarily mean vegetarian or vegan exactly, but a greater emphasis on consuming plant-based and other non-animal foods.

Vegan and vegetarian diets have previously been linked to a lack of sufficient key nutrients to keep people healthy.

What are the disadvantages of going vegan?

Switching to an all-plant-based diet could leave you tired or run out of acne, dieticians have warned.

Not eating or drinking animal products could cause you to lose key vitamins like B12 and protein.

A deficiency in vitamin B12, which is found in milk and eggs, can cause fatigue or tiredness and negatively impact mental health.

Vitamin D is another nutrient found primarily in animal products, such as fatty fish, which those on a vegan diet may be deficient in.

A vitamin D deficiency can cause problems with bone development and cause pain.

Not getting enough protein, which we get from dairy products, fish, eggs and meat, can stunt growth in children and even lead to acne breakouts.

A deficiency of iron, present in red meat and liver, can lead to anemia, causing fatigue and heart palpitations.

Iodine, found primarily in seafood, is another nutrient known to be deficient in vegan diets and is important for maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Plant-based diets can include all of these nutrients mentioned, but people need to carefully manage what they eat or take supplements to make sure they get enough.

This is especially true if people are switching to a vegan diet after getting these nutrients primarily from animal products.

But another risk is the misperception that vegan products are inherently healthier than non-vegan options.

A MailOnline analysis of meatless vegan alternative foods found that a significant number contained more salt, sugar and fat than the product they were supposed to replace.