Keto Diet, Cancer and Diabetes
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information in this program was gathered through research and personal experience. Please see your health care provider before starting any diet regiment.
The KETO diet is not a fad diet and has been used since the 1920’s. It’s based on a solid understanding of nutritional science and basic physiology. Many health care providers recommend this diet for diabetes and cancer patients to reduce inflammation and control blood sugar.
The nickname for this diet is the “fat burning” diet. It differs from other wellness and weight loss strategies as it does not count calories nor limits food intake. It actually reverses the bodies metabolic state and changes the nutrient that the body uses for energy. Instead of burning sugar or glucose, it forces the body to burn the fat stored in various areas of the body until a state of Ketosis is achieved.
The myth that fat makes you fat was created by the low fat nutritional guidance of the 1970’s. The proof is in the pudding as they say since we are getting fatter and the obesity rate is at an all time high despite following a low fat diet. Elimination of Carbohydrates are the focus of this diet and carbs are the source of sugar.
Following a high carb diet results in higher levels of blood glucose levels and the body’s insulin production increases. This leads to inflammation (cancer, heart disease) and insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A low carb diet also increases both the good cholesterol (HDL) and overall cholesterol, and decreases triglycerides. So eating Keto not only results in weight loss, but decreases the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Eating Keto is quite simple but NOT easy! Understanding Ketosis is essential to success. The diet mimics the beneficial effects of fasting: namely reduce blood sugar, body fat, and cholesterol levels. The goal is to drastically restrict foods rich in starch and sugar, ie carbohydrates. Hi carb foods get broken down by the body into sugar which is glucose and insulin. The result is fat storage and unwanted weight gain.
Low carb diets reduce glucose levels and triggers the body to burn fat instead. Cancer cells need lots of sugar for energy and eating KETO removes their energy supply. Diabetics benefit from lower blood sugar levels and in some cases with type 2 diabetes, completely reverse the disease. When the body burns fat, it produces Ketones. When these Ketones reach a certain level, the metabolic state of Ketosis is achieved. Ketogenic therapy decreases inflammation to such an extent as to improve acne, eczema, IBS, arthritis, pain, etc.
Let’s talk more about Ketosis and cancer. Thankfully the stages of cancer development happen in a gradual process where the cells slowly become malignant through a series of changes. Slow growing cancers can take years to surface. My oncologist estimated that my breast cancer had started ten years prior to detection. This slow process allows an opportunity to treat it before it evolves and spreads. It may be able to even stopping cancer before the rogue cells begin to mutate.
A metabolic link connected with cancer especially the blood sugar and glucose content. The first observations of cancerous cells have an altered metabolism in energy that relies on glucose and glycolysis. A German Scientist, Otto Warburg conduced experiments that proved this. His results showed that tumor cells converted elevated amounts of glucose into energy and lactic acid (a byproduct of glycolysis). His work is now referred to as the Warburg effect.
Doctors have long known about the dependence of cancer on glucose. A PET scan actually relies on it where a glucose-based dye is injected into the body to detect the tumors. The cancer cells, hungry for glucose, are attracted to the dye. Consequently, they are the cells that “light up” on the imaging. So stop feeding your cancer....
Remember that eating Keto is quite simple but NOT easy!
So how to start?
1. SPEND SOME TIME RESEARCHING KETO.
Make sure you really understand what a keto diet food plan entails and what kinds of results you can expect to see. Keto is hailed as a miracle diet by many people, but the truth is that you’ll get out of it what you put into it. Read some keto blogs where other people write about their experiences with the diet, and see if it sounds like something you can realistically commit to.
2. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’LL EAT ON A DAILY BASIS.
Look up your favorite foods and see what their nutritional breakdowns are like. Then, think about how you can continue eating as many foods you like as possible while still sticking to your carb limit every day. Remember, a keto diet food plan is heavy on fat, moderate on protein, and light on carbs. You may find that you need to start including new foods in your diet to hit your macronutrient goals.
3. GET INTO THE HABIT OF READING NUTRITION LABELS.
Don’t assume that foods are low-carb just because they seem like they should be. Always read labels so you can be sure. Carbs can hide in a lot of sneaky places. You’re best off avoiding processed foods entirely and sticking to whole foods like meat, vegetables, and healthy oils.
4. BE AWARE THAT YOU MIGHT DEVELOP THE “KETO FLU.”
Many people feel tired, foggy-minded, and easily distracted during their first couple of weeks eating low-carb. This phenomenon is called the keto flu, and it happens because your body is switching from burning primarily carbohydrates to burning fat for energy. When your body becomes fat-adapted, the flu-like feeling will go away, and you’ll probably feel more energetic than ever.
Many people choose to make this diet not simply a temporary weight loss program, but a lifestyle change. Once you master the program, it will become easy to maintain a healthy weight and enjoy newfound energy and mental clarity!