Teens rarely think about maintaining a proper diet and a routine but believe it or not what you eat in your teens affects your health in adulthood. Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fats and less mono and polyunsaturated fats in adolescence and teenage years has been connected with increased breast density in adult women, which may lead to breast cancer later in life.
Dairy, meat, and hydrogenated oil are sources of unsaturated fat while olive oil, avocado, and nuts are often regarded as the good kind of fat (monounsaturated fats) needed by your body.
Breast tissues during the adolescent period are sensitive to many elements; the researchers were interested to find out whether the type of food intake during the growing period has any connection to the density of breasts in adulthood.
The researchers monitored the food habits of 177 participants between the ages of 10-18. Later their breast density was measured when they reached the ages of 25-29.
After considering factors such as education, a number of pregnancies and births, body type the researchers came to the conclusion that a diet rich in saturated fats during adolescence is directly connected to the increased rate of dense breast volume (DBV) in adulthood.
Women who had a higher content of saturated fat in their diet exhibited a mean percentage of 21.5 % DBV compared to the ones with less saturated fats who had 16.4% DBV.
Seungyoun Jung, one of the researchers said that the greater breast density increases the risk of breast cancer. This study could be a breakthrough in determining one of the factors that lead to this disease in later life.
Although the study led to an interesting revelation, there were certain limitations. The participants were a small group of people, mainly Caucasians, which limits the exposure of the experiment. The scientists admitted that there could be other factors connected to breast density, which could have influenced the result. Lastly, the source of fat consumed in the adolescent period might be from good components.
Jung further commented that one important message everyone can take home from this study is that maintaining a healthy dietary routine from an early age is important. It can have damaging effects or beneficial consequence in your later life. Consuming a nutritious diet can protect one from chronic problems, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
The research was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.