ANTI CANCER DIET
The whole concept of an “Anti-cancer diet” is to deprive cancer of what it needs to survive. Cancer is a hardy, yet fragile, entity.
Much more is known today, than ever before, about cancer cell physiology . It has devised ways of hiding within the body, undetected by the immune system. It is a bully when sharing nutrition with normal cells. It survives in an oxygen free atmosphere. It appears bionic yet cannot last long without fuel.
Therein lies the logic behind the anti-cancer diet. Feed your normal cells but deprive the cancer cells of what they need to thrive.
Cancer's abnormal need for sugar
- In 1931 a German physician/scientist, Otto Warburg MD, PhD, received a Nobel Prize for showing that cancer cells use sugar without oxygen (anaerobic/fermentation) to produce energy.
- Anaerobic metabolism is expensive for the cell; Warburg showed that cancer cells use up 18 times more sugar than normal cells.
- If they do not get this level of sugar on a second to second basis, they die.
That being said, it is not possible to eliminate cancer by not eating sugar. The main reason is the brain requires sugar on the same order of urgency as oxygen. Fortunately the brain can rely on an alternate fuel source.
Anti-cancer diet reduces sugar and carbs
- All carbohydrates in the diet (grains, bread, pasta, etc.) get turned into sugar by our digestive enzymes. Sugar is hidden in most processed food, drink and alcohol.
- Grain, rice, crackers, cereal, bread, legumes, beans, starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn, most fruit and fruit juices and of course, SUGAR, should be greatly reduced from the diet.
- Use fruits more seldom and as a dessert/treat, they docontain some fructose (fruit sugar) and the main goal for cancer patients is to decreaseglucose in the body
Once you start looking at labels, you will be amazed at how high or low the levels of carbohydrates and sugars are. Keep both down to a minimum. On an average one should try to keep net carbs at 20 per day.
( net carbs=total grams carbs-grams of fiber)
Training the body to use keytones for fuel rather than sugar for an effective anti-cancer diet
Remember: An anti-cancer diet is one that deprives the cancer cells of nourishment.
Cancer is a metabolic machine.
During prolonged fasting or low carbohydrate diets the human body can produce ketone bodies. Humans can utilize ketones as an energy source; research has shown that cancer cells CANNOT.
Think of ketone bodies as the baby brother of fats, they are very similar in structure just a lot smaller. This is the reasoning behind the high amount of dietary fats in the Ketogenic diet.
Ketones are generated by the liver and will become the main energy source as carbohydrates are limited in the diet.
A ketogenic diet consists of moderate protein (yes, including meat), high (healthy) fats, and very low carbohydrates and sugar. Below are some great examples of foods from each category.
Ketogenic Diet = Anti Cancer diet
GOOD fats: olive, avocado, coconut, Hemp and MCT oils are great. Organic, Pasture raised Full-Fat Dairy products and yes, this includes Butter. Nuts are a great source of fat: almonds, Brazil, chia seeds, flax seeds, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
Veggies/Fruits-lots, lots, and lots of veggies, cook them, eat them raw, slather them in some butter and sprinkle your favorite seasonings on them. Use fruits more seldom and as a dessert/treat, they do contain some fructose (fruit sugar) and the main goal for patients is to decrease sugar in the body.
When you do use fruit we encourage our patients to use blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Powdered greens can provide lots of vitamins and minerals as well as added nutrients such as probiotics, prebiotics, detoxification nutrients and disease-protective antioxidants. Dilutes in water and can be added into your existing shakes.
Protein– Organic pasture raised lamb, beef, pork, wild-caught salmon, halibut, cod, sardines, shrimp, lobster, scallops and pasture raised birds and their eggs. Protein is vital but be conscious of the amount of protein that is ingested, a ketogenic diet is usually no more than 1 gram of protein for every 1 kilogram of your weight.
(2.2 pounds = 1 kilos)
Hydration- Staying properly hydrated is just as important as food. 2 L for women and 3 L is good starting point and should be adjusted based on activity level, age, and even where you live. Use apple cider teas, herbal teas, bone broths, and coffee; but do remember caffeine is a diuretic.
Avoid Trans fats
What are trans Fats?
An unhealthy substance, also known as trans fatty acid, made through the chemical process of hydrogenation of oils.
Hydrogenation solidifies liquid oils and increases the shelf life and the flavor stability of oils and foods that contain them.
Trans fat is found in vegetable shortenings and in some margarine, crackers, cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, microwave popcorn, doughnuts, fried fast food and frozen pizza to name a few.
How to tell if food has trans fats
A food label must list the ingredients in order of quantity, from most to least. If hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils are listed early on the list and before polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils, you know the product contains lots of trans fat.
The US FDA in 1999 proposed that the Nutrition Facts labels on vegetable shortenings and some cookies, crackers, margarines, and other foods may soon carry information about trans fatty acids, or trans fats.
Beyond requiring that some labels list the amount of trans fats in the food, the FDA rule would also define the term “trans fat free” and limits the use of certain nutrient or health claims related to fat content, such as “lean” and “low saturated fat.”
In the realm of dietary dangers, trans fats rank very high. It has been estimated that trans fats are responsible for some 30,000 early deaths a year in the United States. Worldwide the toll of premature deaths is in the millions.
Edit your eating style
- Reduce portions. Reduce plate size.
- Set a routine. Plan ahead and buy only foods that you can eat. If they are not in the house, you will not eat them.
- Keep track of what you eat at first to train yourself and reduce binge eating.
- Learn to embrace water as an essential ingredient to your daily diet.
- Sit down, eat, relax,avoid mindlessly eating when you’re watching TV or working.
For those that find a Ketogenic lifestyle too challenging, look up, Low Glycemic Index.
The glycemic index (GI) assigns a numeric score to a food based on how drastically it makes your blood sugar rise. Foods are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose (sugar) given a value of 100. The lower a food’s glycemic index, the slower blood sugar rises after eating that food.
Leaky Gut and how it affects the immune system
Leaky gut is another huge factor in the efficiency equation of the immune system. If this is the first you’ve heard of this term, we encourage you to watch the following videos to help understand this under-talked about scenario that affects the majority of modern day people.