Expatriate medical insurance policyholders who eat a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates could be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer.
According to Dr Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist and fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, opting for an unhealthy diet causes blood glucose levels to rise, which in turn causes the body to produce higher levels of insulin to break down the product.
"Research has shown that, often, high levels of insulin for women is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and that comes from our diet. It is even independent of whether that woman is overweight or not," she pointed out.
Expat insurance customers who want to protect themselves against the disease can therefore choose plenty of green, leafy vegetables and ensure they have enough vitamin D.
"Things like exercise can reduce risk, so there are a lot of factors that can help reduce it," Dr Glenville added.
Her advice comes after US researchers warned that a lack of family history of breast cancer does not preclude any woman from developing the disease.