Can cutting calories twice a week really save you?
Cutting calories two days a week can almost halve your risk of breast cancer, according to researchers in Manchester. Limiting intake to 650 calories twice a week (that's just over a quarter of the recommended 2,000 cals for women) for six months caused a 40% drop in cancer-causing hormones leptin and insulin in overweight women with a predisposition to the disease. The 650-calorie diet consisted of four portions of veg, one piece of fruit, and two pints of semi-skimmed milk. Scientists say depriving the body of food in this way reduces the amount of sugar in the breast cells, limiting cancerous cell division. They also claim it can be more effective at cancer prevention than general dieting.
ZEST SAYS: Because this study focused on overweight women already at risk for breast cancer, it's not clear if the restriction would have the same effect on healthy-weighted, low-risk women. Also, the study was small - only 100 participants.
But how you cook and prepare food could reduce your risk - new research by the Breast Cancer Fund has linked the surge in breast cancer rates since the 1930s to our increased use of synthetic substances, like plastic. It claims reusing old plastic water bottles and microwaving plastic food containers expose us to harmful chemicals that have never been tested for their effects on human health. Our advice? Stick to glass water bottles and containers. And if you don't want to give up plastic, check the small triangular recycling symbol stamped on the bottom - avoid refilling those stamped with the number 7.
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