We do low sugar, high protein / keto-ish diets. The main thing is that there is low sugar so the cancer doesn’t grow. And then cancer patients are weak so a vegan diet isn’t sufficient.
If you are a cancer patient, maintaining your health despite your disease is paramount. There are many ways in which this can—and should—be accomplished. Remaining as active as possible through treatment is important, as are other basic behaviors such as drinking a lot of water and maintaining social ties to those around you to improve mental health. Another singularly important piece of the health puzzle during cancer treatment is maintaining a healthy, cancer-minimizing diet.
We know that treatments such as chemotherapy can sometimes have a nausea-creating or appetite-minimizing effect, and maintaining a healthy diet under those conditions can be difficult. However, it’s paramount for your health that you do prioritize eating well while under treatment for cancer. But having a cancer-fighting diet isn’t just as simple as following traditional nutritional guidelines, although that’s a good start—while a basically nutritious, healthy diet is good overall, to truly fight cancer, we specifically recommend following a low sugar, high protein diet to fully maximize your body’s own healing power.
The support for this diet as a cancer-fighting mechanism comes from numerous pieces of research showing that high insulin provides a breeding ground for cancer. As a basis, studies show that obesity is correlated with both high insulin and high rates of cancer; correlation is not necessarily causation, but other research shows that causation may exist as well. For example, one study genetically engineered mice to have artificially low insulin levels, and then showed that as an effect, those mice went on to have significantly fewer precancerous lesions in the pancreas than non-engineered mice. This isn’t conclusive, but it is extremely suggestive. Research is still ongoing to conclusively show that insulin increases the incidence of cancer, but as of right now existing studies point firmly in that direction.
Since high sugar levels in food can lead to high insulin levels, it makes sense as far as a cancer-reducing diet goes to decrease the amount of sugars in your food. This is particularly important if you struggle with obesity as a starting point. To compensate for this sugar deficit, you will need to consume more protein in order to properly fuel your body to heal from your cancer. You may have heard this low sugar, high protein diet referred to as “Keto.” In addition to being an effective cancer-fighting diet, it is also a popular diet tailored towards weight loss. Although you usually won’t want to be losing weight while undergoing cancer treatment, the popularity of the diet does mean that there is a wide variety of recipes and resources available on the internet and in print to help you effectively and easily follow the diet.
You may have also heard that veganism can be good for preventing or fighting cancer, but we do not recommend it for that purpose. The reason for this is that it is more difficult to get enough appropriate nutrients for your body when practicing veganism than it is practicing other diets like Keto. Because your body is already in a fragile state from being treated for cancer, we do not recommend subjecting it to the risk of not getting enough nutrients as well.
Maintaining a low-sugar, high-protein diet can also be beneficial for preventing cancer in the first place. Because cancer cells are less likely to appear and thrive in low insulin environments than in high insulin environments, maintaining a low sugar, high protein diet can also significantly reduce your risk of contracting cancer. Especially if you are at risk—genetically or otherwise—for cancer already, following a Keto diet might be a wise choice to safeguard your future health.
Treating cancer is a complex task with no one solution; however, it is undeniable that eating well to fuel your body correctly is an important piece of the puzzle. By following a low sugar, high protein diet, you can ensure you get all the nutrients you need, while at the same time effectively starving your cancer of what it needs to thrive.