You have heard it said that you are what you eat. While this is a definitive Truth, there is nowhere that this is more important than during cancer treatment. Proper nutrition can have great benefits for those engaged in the fight of their life with cancer.
Muscle atrophy and malnutrition are common among people who have cancer. Lack of physical activity over an extended period of time along with a decreased appetite causes muscle loss. Plenty of lean protein in the diet will help to prevent this debilitating condition. Without adequate muscle, the patient is at an increased risk for falls and a farther downward spiral of appetite and nutrition because muscle increases your metabolism which drives your appetite. Stay healthier by nourishing your muscles.
The Perfect Storm
It is necessary to restrict added sugar in the diet because added sugar causes inflammation in the body which causes changes in DNA and can lead to cancer development. The excess calories from sugar are used to rapidly create more cells and every time we make a new cell there is a chance for the DNA code to be faulty. Sugar also increases fat cells and when those fat cells are stored as visceral fat which surrounds our vital organs, our hormone levels are affected in a way that influences when cells divide and die. Visceral fat also exists in a low oxygen state due to it’s compact storage deep within the body. Cancer thrives in a low oxygen state so the extra visceral fat gained by the excess calories from sugar greatly increases the risk of cancer development and proliferation. Obesity is a known contributor to cancer risk.
At David’s Way we encourage a low carbohydrate diet with no added sugar or simple carbs which break down into sugar. A study of tumor growth in glucose based diets as opposed to a low carb, or ketogenic diet, revealed that tumor growth INCREASED by 32% in people on the glucose based diet but DECREASED by 24% in those on the ketogenic diet. While one study is not definitive, the results cannot be ignored. (1)
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats along with the lean protein may also decrease the chances of forming new cancer cells due to the phytonutrients and fatty acids abundant in these foods. Fatty acids are also believed to help preserve muscle mass and function in cancer patients during treatment. Processed meats, all refined carbs, salt and alcohol may increase your risk of cancer. At David’s Way we promote these healthy foods and avoid the cancer causing foods that are believed to increase the risk of the development and proliferation of cancer cells. Visit often and read our articles and use our recipes. We’re here to answer your questions and encourage you on your journey to better health.