Posted: 12:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 Mediterranean diet may help prevent breast cancer A recent study suggests that a Mediterranean diet, which features vegetables, nuts, olive oil and other healthy foods, may help prevent breast cancer. By Sara Mastbaum Thomas Contributing Writer, Dayton Daily News Sticking to a Mediterranean diet rather than a standard low-fat diet could help lower your risk of developing breast cancer, according to a recent study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine. In fact, the women who consumed the most olive oil during the study had the lowest instance of breast cancer. So what could this mean for you? Our experts weighed in with tips and some caveats. What is it? You’ve likely heard of the Mediterranean diet – it has been touted for its health benefits in many other arenas in addition to cancer prevention. But what exactly is it? “A Mediterranean diet is a pattern of eating that emphasizes traditional foods found around the Mediterranean Sea: olive oil, legumes, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts,” explained registered dietitian nutritionist, Cindy Guirino, who practices in Dayton. “It is a lifestyle that emphasizes daily exercise, sharing meals with others and fostering a deep appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy and delicious foods.” Why was olive oil found to be of particular importance during the study? “The authors reported that women eating a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil (four tablespoons per day) showed a 68 percent relatively lower risk of malignant breast cancer than those allocated to the control diet,” Guirino said. “This is likely due to the reduction of inflammation in the body. Extra-virgin olive oil is the fresh-squeezed juice of an olive. It contains the polyphenol, oleocanthal, which possesses similar anti-inflammatory properties to ibuprofen. “