Healthy Habits to Prevent Breast Cancer

4 Healthy Habits to Prevent Breast Cancer CBS/The Early Show

Almost 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, but by making four simple lifestyle changes, you could reduce the odds of getting the disease by almost 40 percent.

CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton joined CBS Correspondent Kelly Cobiella on Monday to share some valuable and potentially life-saving tips.

"We know family history plays as big role in our risk for breast cancer, but there are a lot of things that we can do and that you can start doing when you're young that can dramatically reduce the risks," Ashton said.

The first tip is to maintain a healthy body weight, which is important for both your heart and your breast cancer risk.

According to Ashton, body fat produces estrogen, so the more body fat we have, the more estrogen we have.

"Forty percent to 50 percent of overweight post-menopausal women have much higher estrogen levels than those who are thinner. So again we want it keep your body weight low," she added.

Ashton says that "ideally you want to exercise 30 minute as day."

When trying to maintain a healthy weight, Ashton suggests the "diet of thirds," where a third of your plate should be a lean source of protein like fish or meat. The other two thirds should be vegetables and whole grains.

Ashton said, a colorful diet can lower your breast cancer risk. "Try to minimize the white foods and eat the colors of the rainbow."

Alcohol consumption is a controversial subject when it comes to preventing breast cancer.

"The magic number seems to be no more than seven alcoholic beverages a week," Ashton pointed out. "It doesn't matter whether you get that spread out day to day or all over the weekend. But you really want to keep your overall alcohol consumption low."
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