Is a diet high in fat linked to various cancers?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Poor diet can have a damaging effect on many fronts. You may not eat enough foods containing protective nutrients, or you may eat too many foods that can be damaging. People who favor diets that are high in fat -- particularly saturated fat -- or low in fiber, have an increased risk of cancers of the colon, uterus, and prostate. Diets high in fat also may contribute to obesity, another major risk factor for cancer.


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Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
A diet high in fat, particularly saturated fat and cholesterol, has been linked to numerous cancers. Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute recommend a diet that supplies less than 30 percent of calories as fat. However, just as important as the amount of fat is the type of fat you consume. The goal is to decrease your total fat intake, especially your intake of saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, and omega-6 fats, while increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Most Americans eat too much of the omega-6 oils found in meats and most vegetable oils, including soy, sunflower, safflower, and corn. They suffer from a relative deficiency of monounsaturated fats derived from nuts, seeds, olive oil, and canola oil, as well as a deficiency of omega-3 fats found in fish and flaxseed oil. This situation is associated with an increased risk of cancer and about sixty other conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, skin diseases, and diabetes.
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Continue Learning about Fats


At 9 calories per gram, fats can add up quickly in your diet, yet experts recommend that you get only 7% of your calorie intake from fat. Fats also affect your cholesterol, and there are both good and bad fats. The best kind of fa...

ts are called unsaturated fats, and can be found in oils like olive and canola oils, nuts and seeds. These fats can help your body get rid of cholesterol. Saturated fats often have had hydrogen added to them to make them more solid. Other saturated fats are found in cream, butter and meats. They can raise your blood cholesterol. Its wise to learn which is which and check nutrition labels to make proper choices.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.