I listened to an interview on radio recently where the expert said fats in margarine increased the risk of breast cancer. Is this true? Should I switch to butter?"

It is difficult to separate what we eat into individual nutrients, as our diets and the food we eat are complex. It is important that recommendations on preventing cancer are based on evidence of studies related to people. Currently there is not enough quality evidence about margarine and breast cancer. Although some laboratory-based studies have raised concerns about margarine, this has not been shown to be an issue in large-scale population studies. We need only small amounts of spreads and oils.

It is best to limit your intake of saturated fats (found mainly in meat fat and animal fat products such as butter) and trans fats (mainly found in processed food) and eat mainly monounsaturated fats found in plants and omega-3 oils found in fish and nuts and seeds. Healthy lifestyle choices can reduce our cancer risk. Avoiding excess weight gain and being physically active help to reduce breast cancer risk, particularly in women who have already experienced menopause, while drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer.