PUBLISHED ON: 21 June 2017

Whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or you’re a savoury lover, we all crave a treat every now and again. But when those odd treats creep into your daily diet, it could start affecting your weight.

So what’s weight got to do with breast cancer?

Keeping to a healthy weight throughout your life can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer after the menopause. The higher your BMI after the menopause, the higher your risk of breast cancer will be.

Research suggests that 3 more women in every 100 will get breast cancer after the age of 50 if their BMI is in the obese range, compared to those who are a healthy weight. Don't know what your BMI is? Find out more about BMI and what being a healthy weight means.

Fad diets and constantly changing recommendations sometimes make it hard to really know what a healthy diet is, so here are a few basic guidelines to help you stay healthy.

Six tips for healthy eating

1. Five a day

Over 1/3 of the food you eat a day should be fruit and vegetables – aim for at least five varieties.

2. Choose brown and wholemeal over white

A further 1/3 of your daily diet should be starchy foods like potato, bread, rice, pasta and cereal – opt for brown and wholemeal options whenever you can.

3. Add some protein

Protein from beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat are important, but you don’t need too much.

4. Go for low fat options

Some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya) are also essential for a healthy diet. Opt for lower fat and sugar options, like skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and low fat cheese.

5. Cut down on sugar

You might have a sugar craving every now and again, but try and eat foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar occasionally and in small quantities.

6. Use the traffic light food labels

After a long day, cooking is sometimes the last thing on your mind, so if you opt for a ready meal, use the traffic light food labels to help make a healthy decision – go for those that are fully amber and green, rather than red.

More information

Find out more on how weight can affect your risk of breast cancer