A recent study found that older women who are overweight or obese, were able to lower their risk of getting pancreatic cancer by following a low-fat diet plan.

It should be noted the diet plan used in the study is not just low-fat (20 percent of daily calories coming from fat) but also consists of five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, and 6 or more servings of whole grains, per day. This plant-based diet may also contribute to the lower pancreatic cancer risk.

“Other studies have shown that the type of fat in the diet may have an effect on risk,” said Maria Petzel, a senior clinical dietitian at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). “The low-fat diet in the study is inherently lower in saturated fats since the fat content of the diet is reduced overall. Diets high in saturated fats have been associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.”

Knowing this information, it may be valuable to consider following a plant-based diet that is moderate in total fat (30 percent of daily calories from fat) but low in saturated and trans fats.

The Fix asked contributor Petzel for her top tips on what to eat and what not to eat, to manage a healthier balance of fat in the diet that could lower your risk for pancreatic cancer.

Foods that are sources of “good” fats (monounsaturated and/or omega-3 fatty acids):

  • Nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachios, etc.)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia, etc.)
  • Olive oil, canola oil
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Fatty, cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna)

Foods that are sources of high saturated or trans fats:

  • Butter
  • Margarine (stick)
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Hydrogenated oils

Are you a pancreatic cancer patient or caregiver? You can access comprehensive disease information, including diet and nutrition tips, recipes and a booklet on the subject – all reviewed and approved by renowned leaders in the field, by contacting the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s one-on-one PanCAN Patient Services support service by phone or email.

Come back to our blog each week for more Friday Fix: Do Vegetarian Diets Reduce Cancer Risk?