Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is top priority when it comes to the prevention of breast cancer. Now, a new study shows that when you eat may also affect your outcome.
Catherine Marinac, lead author of the study says: “Previous research has focused on what to eat for cancer prevention, but when we eat may also matter because it appears to affect metabolic health.”
The study included 2,413 non-diabetic breast cancer survivors between the age of 27 and 70. All of the participants were tracked to follow up on breast cancer recurrence and mortality.
What the researchers learned will surprise you.
The women who fasted for less than 13 hour each night had a 36 percent higher risk of breast cancer recurrence compared to those who fasted longer than 13 hours. They also experienced a 21 percent higher probability of death from the disease.
The metabolic effects of fasting may explain these differences.
In particular, fasting for fewer hours during the night was associated with significantly less sleep. Those who fasted the least also had higher average blood sugar (HbA1c) levels. Both of these have links to an increased risk of breast cancer.
“Prolonging the overnight fasting interval may be a simple, non-pharmacological strategy for reducing a person’s risk of breast cancer recurrence and even other cancers,” notes Marinac.
Previous studies suggest that limiting what you eat to an average of about 10 hours each day may help stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.
To take advantage of these potential benefits, start the count at breakfast. Then, eat your last meal of the day no more than 10 hours later.
And don’t forget to enjoy plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables with your meals. The American Cancer Society recommends getting 2½ cups of these foods every day.