High Fat Diet Raises Breast Cancer and Mental Illness Risk in Offspring

Few people consider what their mom and dad ate as a factor in their health many years later. But, research shows that what parents eat just prior to conception and, in the case of women, during pregnancy, can affect a child’s risk for certain illnesses later in life.

In a study published in the online medical journal BioMed Central, researchers found that both parents’ diets prior to conception, and a woman’s pregnancy diet, can affect their children’s risk for breast cancer later in life. In this study researchers assessed the effects of a high fat diet, largely composed of omega 6 fatty acids found in corn oil, which is representative of an average person’s high omega 6 fatty acid intake in North America. The researchers found that the parental high fat diet caused genetic damage that predisposed the offspring to breast cancer. While breast cancer primarily affects women, it can also affect men.

But breast cancer is not the only illness linked to a high fat diet. In a new study published in the medical journal Frontiers in Endocrinology, researchers found that a mother’s high fat diet during pregnancy can not only affect her children’s risk of obesity, but also brain development and mental health issues like anxiety. In this study, researchers assessed the effects of a high fat diet (35.57 percent of the total caloric intake as fat) for 1.2 to 8.5 years prior to giving birth. However, saturated fat (which is the main type of fat in meat and poultry) made up the largest percentage of the total fat intake. The researchers found that the maternal high fat diet made the offspring significantly more prone to neurodevelopmental disorders like anxiety.

The researchers also found that the high fat diet impaired the development of brain cells containing serotonin—a brain messenger hormone that is critical to developing brains and helps to regulate depression and anxiety.

As the researchers of the studies indicate and to which I would agree: this is not about blaming our parents, and mothers in particular, for our health problems. Instead, it is about raising public awareness and improving public health policies to ensure the greatest level of health for people throughout their lifetime.

Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

Both saturated fats and a diet high in omega 6 fatty acids have been linked to excessive inflammation in the body. Reduce your intake of meat and commercially-prepared “vegetable oils” which are largely corn oil, and foods made from these oils, such as packaged, processed and prepared foods.

Instead, choose a largely plant-based diet high in fruits and vegetables with the addition of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids like flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, spinach, squash and cashews. Check out my blog “Top 17 Vegan Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids” to discover more plant-based sources of brain-boosting omega 3 fatty acids.

Related:
The Vitamins that Protect Your DNA against Air Pollution
Don’t Believe in Herbal Medicine? 10 Things to Change Your Mind
The 5 Best Herbs to Soothe Your Nerves

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds: The 4-Week Plan for a Sharper Mind, Better Memory, and Healthier Brain.

 

45 comments

Jim V
Jim Ven10 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven10 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE10 months ago

I craved avocados and milk. Does this mean my child will have breast cancer?

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One Heart inc
One Heart inc10 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Carl R
Carl R10 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Yan Yan
Yan Yan10 months ago

There are certain misinformation in this article that are are misleading regarding what fats to take. First of all, saturated fats shouldn't be included in the list of bad fats. Second, there are only two kinds of fats, according to Dr. Mercola, that are unhealthy to consume that causes mitochondrial dysfunction, and this are: trans fats and highly refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils like corn oil, canola oil, soybean oil, etc.

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Leo C
Leo C10 months ago

Thank you for posting!

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago

High dairy fat as linked to breast cancer.

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