Cancer has turned into a serious disease in our modern society. While cancer was not a large factor before the 20th century (it did exist, of course), our modern diet and sedentary lifestyle have made cancer the second primary cause of death, with 1600 American dying from this disease every day. It appears that our bodies do not react well to being exposed to daily toxins.
While any cancer treatment must be guided by your physician, it is a good idea to discuss the keto diet and what it can do to help in the treatment of this disease.
A cancer-specific keto diet may consist of as much as 90 percent fat. There is a very good reason for that. What doctors do know is that cancer cells feed off carbohydrates and sugar. This is what helps them grow and multiply in number.
As we have seen, the keto diet dramatically reduces our carbohydrate and sugar consumption as our metabolism is altered. What the keto diet does, in essence, is remove the “food” on which
cancer cells feed and starves them. The result is that cancer cells may die, multiply at a slower rate, or decrease.
Another reason why a keto diet is able to slow down the growth of cancer cells is that by reducing calories, cancer cells have less energy to develop and grow in the first place. Insulin also helps cells grow. Since the keto diet lowers insulin level, it slows down the growth of tumorous cells.
When on the keto diet, the body produces ketones. While the body is fueled by ketones, cancerous cells are not. Therefore, a state of ketosis may help reduce the size and growth of cancer cells.
One study monitored the growth of tumors in patients suffering from cancer of the digestive tract. Of those patients who received a high carbohydrate diet, tumors showed a 32.2 percent in growth. Patients on a keto diet showed a 24.3 percent growth in their tumor. The difference is quite significant.
Another study involved five patients who combined chemotherapy with a keto diet. Three of these patient went into remission. Two patients saw a progression of the disease when they went off the keto diet.
More studies are needed, but these numbers are encouraging.
The keto diet may help prevent cancer from occurring in diabetic patients in the first place. People with diabetes have a higher risk level to develop cancer due to elevated blood sugar levels. Since the ketogenic diet is extremely effective at decreasing the levels of blood sugar, it may prevent the initial onset of cancer.
From what research has discovered so far, ketogenic diet may:
- Stop the growth of cancer cells.
- Help replace cancerous cells with healthy cells.
- Change the body’s metabolism and enable the body to “starve” cancer cells by depriving them of needed nutrition.
- By lowering the body’s insulin level, the ketogenic body may prevent the onset of cancer cells.
On a ketogenic diet specifically for cancer, your fats should be 75 to 90 percent, protein 15-20 percent, and less than 5 percent carbohydrates.
Foods to Eat
- Egg, including yolks
- All green, leafy vegetables, as well as cauliflower, avocado, mushrooms, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
- When choosing dairy, opt for full-fat version of cheeses, butter, sour cream, yogurt, and milk.
- Eat nuts such as walnuts, almonds, filberts, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Foods to Eat in Moderation
- Have one serving of root vegetables, such as yams, parsnip, carrots, and turnips per day.
- Fruits contain sugar, so treat them like candy. One small piece per day.
- A glass of dry wine, vodka, whiskey and brandy once a week. No cocktails with sugars.
- A small piece of chocolate with 75 percent or higher cocoa content once a week.
Foods to Avoid
- Any food containing sugar, including cereals; soft drinks, juices, and sports drinks, candies, and chocolate. Limit artificial sweeteners as much as possible.
- Starchy food such as pasta and potatoes, breads, potato chips, and french fries, cooking oils, and margarine.
- All beers.