I’ll save you some time during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: In reading several blogs regarding breast cancer and its prevention, and in reading several nutrition books lately, it boils down to eating less animal foods, eating more vegetables and fruits, and exercising frequently.

– Research shows there is almost no breast cancer in populations that consume less than 10% of their calories from fat, and that meat and dairy continue to be strongly implicated as a causal factor in breast cancer; it’s not just animal fat, it’s animal protein, too. Eating lots and lots of vegetables, especially green vegetables, and fruit, preferably raw, offers the most protection, even if you do eat animal foods. (You don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to prevent cancer, although this is best – just add a lot more plant foods – a whole lot more than the standard American diet, that is.)

– In one study, women 20-54 who exercised regularly had over 60% less risk than sedentary women to get breast cancer, and for those who exercised more than 4 hours per week, their risk was over 70% less. (There are countless studies that support the assertion that regular exercise is crucial to health and disease prevention.) Walking at a good clip (lazy strolls don’t count really) at least 4-5 days a week for 30 minutes or more is the starting point, for example. It’s best to vary your workouts with different types of exercise, including cardio, strength training and stretching, to get the best benefits.

One last note: Don’t confuse mammograms with prevention: Mammograms are for detection; they are important but they can’t prevent cancer. Only reducing your risks (i.e. if you smoke, quit now and permanently), eating raw vegetables (leafy greens give the most protection; skip the starchy ones) and fruits (but eat more veggies than fruits to get the most superior nutrition), and regular exercise will truly lower your chances of getting breast or other types of cancer, as well as other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.