Cancer and the KETO Diet
Wassgood #CancerSoldiers, new week, new us. We are in self isolation but that is not going to stop us from being great, smashing them goals and still maintaining the notion that 2020 is truly our year. (Positivity is key people.)
Anyway, today we shall be talking about the “Keto” diet, short for Ketogenic. Now, the first time we heard of such a thing was on an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Kim was talking about how she manages to keep her body banging and her skin glowing (which is important to us women.) At the time, it sounded unreal, until Haley Berry said it. (We have a problem believing anything the Kardashians say.) Being at that stage in life where the focus was on how to lose weight without doing any physical exercise and this Keto diet thing sounded like such a good idea. After some research, (based on interests at the time) and coming to the conclusion that the routine would be too expensive. We were also convinced that we are not a Kardashian or Hollywood celebrity so would not need that kind of body anyway and when the time comes that requires us to have “the” body, then the lord was going to come through because, you know, serving a living and mighty God who can give a banging body just by snapping his finger.
What Is A Keto Diet?
This is a low-carb, high fat diet which involves drastically reducing carbohydrates intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called “ketosis” which basically means that your body becomes efficient in burning fat for energy. It also turns fats into ketones in the liver which can supply energy in the brain.
Just in case you are wondering, this is how you manage to lose weight on a keto diet, as your body breaks down fat instead of storing it.
Cancer & Diet 101
Growing evidence points to certain dietary habits that increase or decrease cancer risk. Observational studies indicate that high consumption of certain foods may increase the likelihood of developing cancer. Let us point us a few real quick:
- Sugar and refined carbs
Processed foods that are high in sugar and low in fiber and nutrients have been linked to a higher cancer risk. A diet that causes blood sugar levels to spike is associated with an increased risk of several cancer, (Stomach, breast and colorectal cancers.) Higher levels of blood glucose and insulin have been linked to cancer, this is because insulin is believed to stimulate cell division, supporting the growth and spread of cancer cells making them difficult to eliminate.
- Processed meats
The international agency for research on cancer deems processed meat a carcinogen – something that causes cancer.
- Being Obese is linked with increased cancer risk.
Obesity increases the risk of 13 types of cancer, (among them:esophageal, colon, pancreas and kidney, as well as breast cancer especially after menopause). Obesity can increase cancer risk in 3 ways;
1. Excess body fat can contribute to insulin resistance. As a result, your body cells are unable to take up glucose properly,which encourages them to divide faster.
2. Obese people tend to have higher level of inflammatory cytokines in the blood, which causes chronic inflammation and encourages cells to divide which could lead to cancer.
3. Fats and cells contribute to increased oestrogen levels which increases the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in post menopausal women.
So What Should I Eat?
Check our nutrition blog to learn more on what you should eat to keep your cells in check. Now, let us jump back to our topic. The Keto’ Diet has proved to be useful in the fight against cancer. Interesting right? As in who would have thought.
Importance of the Keto Diet in Fighting Cancer
- The diet could boost the power of conventional cancer treatment(Chemotherapy and radiotherapy) by selectively inducing metabolic oxidative stress in cancer cells.
- Certain cancer cells are heavily reliant on glucose for energy. Restricting their access to sugar may be a valid way of sensitizing them to chemotherapy.
- Dieting is more effective in reversing weight loss, which is important for some cancer patients. Therefore depriving the cancer cells nutrition, (carbohydrates) is an added advantage as it leads to reduced tumor size.
What Cancer Patients Should Know About The Keto Diet
As much as this might sound like such a good idea and a promising avenue to explore to help maintain your cancer, it is important to note that your body is in need of carbohydrates as well.
It might lead to weight loss, but research has shown that it is not a healthy way to do so. For some people, their bodies take longer to break down fats and proteins, which is basically what the diet advocates for. So before you hop on it, it is important to consult your doctor or nutritionist about the pros and cons.
That’s all for today. Keep safe and let’s keep up the good work we are doing when it comes to fighting cancer. Till next time, peace and much love.