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Excess weight gain following a positive breast cancer test may decrease the survivability of the disease, but new research has found that a diet rich in olive oil may help women keep the weight off during treatment.
Studies have shown weight gain during breast cancer treatment is associated with increased recurrence of the disease, especially in post-menopausal women.
This prompted Miriam Hospital researcher, Mary Flynn, to investigate the benefits of various diets. She compared a low-calorie diet that is recommended by the National Institutes for Health to a diet rich in vegetables and olive oil.
She found that 80 percent of those on the olive oil diet lost five percent of their total body weight, compared to just 30 percent who experienced the same result on the low-calorie diet.
"It was important for us to compare these two diets and determine which one produced the best weight loss," said Flynn. "In this case, it was a diet enriched with extra virgin olive oil, which is a source of healthy fats, and includes foods associated with improving one's health, such as vegetables, beans and other plant products."
Flynn added that breast cancer patients could utilize the diet to improve their chances of recovery.
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