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Peanuts Save Ta-Tas
The increasing popular gluten-free and Paleolithic Diet crazes would have all health-conscious eaters steering clear of legumes. Apparently, our hunter-gatherer ancestors never touched the stuff. But, it may not be that cut and dry for modern women who want to stave off benign breast disease or BBD.
According to a recent American study funded by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the consumption of peanuts and peanut butter during adolescence could help prevent the formation of benign breast disease in adulthood. Dr. Graham Colditz, associate director for cancer prevention and control at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, performed the study with help from colleagues. They published their findings in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
Colditz’s group analyzed health data from more than 9,000 American schoolgirls recruited to The Growing Up Today Study between 1996 and 2001 and followed up with these females more recently to confirm hypotheses about food consumption and frequency. The verdict?Colditz found that eating peanuts and peanut butter twice a week between the ages of 9 and 15 can reduce the risk of BBD’s onset by 39 percent.
Study results also suggest that pulse foods like soybeans, lentils and corn could have similar preventative effects. However, these foods are less common than peanuts, and therefore, more difficult to research.
According to an article in Medical News Today by Catharine Paddock PhD, “This is not the first study to tie diets rich in vegetable fats – such as those present in peanut butter, nuts and pulse foods – to a lower risk for benign breast disease. But it is the first to find the evidence by comparing data captured during adolescence with followed-up cases of diagnosed disease, as opposed to asking young women to recall what they ate when they were in high school.”
What exactly is BBD? Well, it’s an umbrella term and includes lumps or tender spots that turn out to be fibrous tissue and/or cysts, as well as other conditions like hyperplasia— an overgrowth of the cells that line the ducts in the glandular breast tissue. Although BBD is not cancerous, its presence often increases the risk of developing breast cancer down the road.
To that end, Dr. Colditz suggested that, “”These findings suggest that peanut butter could help reduce the risk of breast cancer in women.”
The overarching point here is that it’s easy to forget about good fats in our decidedly fat-phobic society. But, if we’re going to continue to “save the ta-tas,” this evidence strongly suggests that we jog our collective memory. Vegetable fats, like those present in legumes and pulse foods, could save your ta-tas (as well as your life) one day.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.