A hospital-based case-control study was performed from August 2002 to November 2003 in Northeast Brazil. Eighty-nine women were recruited with histologically confirmed breast cancer (age 30-80 years), matched for age with 94 controls. Food consumption of cases and controls was evaluated by foods and food groups, categorized in consumption tertiles. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were obtained through unconditional logistic regression. Intake of fruits and juices, beans, and dairy products showed a strong association with reduced risk of breast cancer. Consumption of red and fried meat was positively associated with risk of breast cancer (red meat-OR=4.30; 95%CI: 1.74-10.67; p for trend=0.00). No association was observed in vegetable and sausage meat groups and breast cancer. Red and fried meat may be risk factors, and intake of fruit, beans, and dairy products may protect against breast cancer.