Book Review: The Pink Ribbon Diet

The Pink Ribbon Diet is the result of a study that dietitian Mary Flynn performed to look at how a Plant-Based Olive Oil diet (or “PBOO,” for short) can help prevent breast cancer. According to the results of her study, the PBOO diet has better effects on biomarkers than the National Cancer Institute’s recommended low-fat diet plan.

In the first section of The Pink Ribbon Diet, Flynn outlines the overall dietary approach, which is to replace unhealthy fats with healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil. It’s a similar approach to many Mediterranean-style diet plans and in fact the overall advice is quite similar to our recommended nutritional guidelines for breast cancer risk reduction. Yet the PBOO diet goes a step further by recommending specific foods that have been known to help prevent breast cancer (such as broccoli and spinach) and eliminating those that have higher risk factors.

In short, it’s a vegetarian plan that values extra virgin olive oil, vegetables, and whole grains, deemphasizes intake of fruit and dairy products, and eliminates red meat and vegetable oils entirely. With that said, The Pink Ribbon Diet won’t be for everyone, particularly those reluctant to part with a protein-heavy diet. Yet even though the PBOO diet is primarily vegetable- and grain-based, there are a few seafood and poultry recipes included in this book for those who like—or perhaps need—to include a bit more protein into their daily regimen.

Flynn introduces a variety of recipes in the second half of her book, which have all been categorized by meal and ingredient (e.g., Breakfast, Pasta, Desserts). Although there are a few unique options, most of the recipes simply replace meat with vegetables and butter with extra virgin olive oil. Just one example: there’s a recipe for a Grilled Cheese and Spinach Sandwich that is made with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. For some, this may not equate to needing an entire cookbook on the subject, but the information here is certainly valuable to many.

Ultimately, The Pink Ribbon Diet is more of a scientific and informational text than a coffee table cookbook, yet it is still a great resource for those interested in learning more about, and taking a proactive step towards breast cancer prevention through nutrition.

An interview with the author of the Pink Ribbon Diet:

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