Can You Eat for Healthy Breasts? Try this butternut squash side dish!

October 18, 2019

Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe

-- By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian at Providence Health

Print a downloadable version here

Does a person’s eating habits impact his or her risk of breast cancer?  Some studies that show eating fruits and veggies may slightly lower the risk of some types of breast cancer. Of special note in these studies are foods high in carotenoids which include carrots, squash, tomatoes, oranges, apricots and grapefruit. While there are still lots of unanswered questions to be studied, it seems like following a southern-style eating pattern that includes lots of greens, legumes and sweet potatoes (but without all the sugar and fat) may have some benefits for breast health. And of course, that ol’ Mediterranean Diet eating pattern that we talk so often about would also fare well due to its emphasis on veggies, fruits and healthy oils.  

As the research technology advances, so does our knowledge of diet and health. Look for more to come on how what you eat can impact your risk of certain health conditions. Food is medicine, after all.

For now, be sure to include color into your food choices, starting with this great autumn side dish full of rich color, flavor and carotenoids! 

Roasted Butternut Squash


  • 1.5 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt (not fine salt)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash cubes in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and use your hands to mix it into the squash cubes. Add the salt, garlic powder and chili powder. Mix well. Arrange the coated butternut squash cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 15 minutes. Remove from oven, turn each cube to the other side and roast 15 more minutes, or until fork-tender.

Nutrition Information: 89 calories, 5 gm fat, 2 gm carbohydrate , 1 gr protein, 200mg sodium

Recipe Source:

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Join Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian, for her monthly award-winning Providence Cooks! cooking classes in Columbia, SC. The class tackles various dietary hurdles by creating, with her team of chefs, a multi-course gourmet meal that promotes health and fits within dietary restrictions. All guests enjoy the healthy sit-down meal with live Q&A from Kay, the chefs, and other special health expert guests. It's a must-try for people interested in healthy eating without losing the flavor and joy of eating. 

Call 800.424.DOCS (3627) to learn about the next Providence Cooks!