A comprehensive review of anti-cancer diets
It is very rare to find a reliable critique of trending anti-cancer diets.
On this page Grace Gawler, a pioneer of lifestyle and complementary medicine for cancer patients, with 48 + years cancer experience, reviews dietary approaches popularised on the internet.
This page provides an invaluable resource for patients lost in the cancer diet maze.
For patients who wish to personalise their diet we offer gene testing analysis
Topics discussed on this page
Scroll page for information about:
- Functional fermented foods in your diet
- Culinary Medicinal Mushrooms.
- Ketogenic & Paleo Diets for Cancer Patients:
- Mediterranean Diets for Cancer Patients:
- Vegan and Plant Based Diets for Cancer Patients:
- The Alkaline Diet for Cancer Patients
- Excessive use of raw kale & raw greens in smoothies and salads.
- Diets that mimic fasting, the 5:2 diet for Cancer Patients:
- Gerson Diets for Cancer Patients:
- Liver Cleansing Diets and botanicals for improving liver function
- Lactose Intolerance:
- Gluten intolerance: Are you diagnosed Coeliac?Gene Analysis can personalise your approach to nutrition – click here
Cancer patients will benefit from functional fermented foods in their diet. GG recommends. Here’s Why
The term Functional Foods first emerged in Japan in the early 1980s, but Japan has been a leader in fermented foods for centuries. Rather than a supplement, functional food ferments need to be prioritised as part of a healthy diet for cancer patients. Functional foods can be in the form of yogurt, kefir, Kimchi, sauerkraut etc – however when most patients begin to add these foods to their diet surprisingly, they suffer intestinal discomfort, gas bloating and sometimes nausea. Why?
Adding Culinary Medicinal Mushrooms to your diet.
GGI recommends. Here’s Why:
Hippocrates said “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”. One special variety of foods that will benefit you as a cancer patient as a regular part of your diet; culinary medicinal mushrooms.
Edible mushrooms are a valuable source of biologically active compounds. Studies indicate that the edible oyster mushroom has potential therapeutic/preventive effects on breast and colon cancer.
The humble oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is one of the most widely cultivated edible mushrooms and several properties have been associated with its health benefits and as a value add food for cancer patients.
Ketogenic and Paleo Diets
Ketogenic & Paleo Diets for Cancer Patients:
GGI does not recommend: Here’s Why:
The rationale for ketogenic diets is based on the myth that sugars feeds cancer. There are established differences in glucose metabolism between cancer cells and normal cells. However, sugars made from metabolising carbs, feed all our cells including all important gut bacteria and yes, cancer cells use sugar to metabolise. But it is not that simple.
Mediterranean Diets for Cancer Patients:
GGI recommends this diet. Here’ Why:
The Mediterranean diet is associated with lower risk of cancer, especially cancers of the breast and colon. The mechanisms responsible for these effects include reductions in inflammation, oxidative damage, metabolic syndrome, and weight. It consists primarily of fish, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, potatoes, fruits, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), moderate amounts of wine, and small amounts of red meat.
Vegan and Plant Based Diets
Vegan and Plant Based Diets for Cancer Patients:
GGI does not recommend this diet. Here’s Why:
In recent media attention has focussed on the benefits of vegan diets. Very few have focussed on the health problems associated with vegan diets – short and long term. As well there have been misleading /inaccurate published stories, including in some medical journals; about vegan diets being a part of cancer cures. A short term vegan diet using “real foods”; not heavily processed vegan foods may initially help cancer patients who have not had ideal diets in the past – and then only recommended for a period of no more than one month. But even with just one month there is still a caution.
The Alkaline Diet
The Alkaline Diet for Cancer Patients – is based on poor science. GGI does not recommend. Here’s Why:
The alkaline diet is falsely based on the idea that replacing acid-forming foods with alkaline foods can improve your health and fight cancer, but its claims aren’t backed by science. Food affects the pH of your urine, but not your blood. In fact it’s critical for your health that the pH of your blood remains constant. Your body tightly regulates blood pH levels. In healthy people, diet doesn’t significantly affect blood pH, but it can change urine pH. And while tumours grow faster in acidic environments, tumours create this acidity themselves. It is not the acidic environment that creates cancer cells, but cancer cells that create the acidic environment.
Raw foods and cancer patients
Excessive use of raw kale & raw greens in smoothies and salads. GGI does not recommend. Here’s Why?
Cancer patients: Did you know that all those raw greens you are consuming in the name of improving your health could actually be causing you more harm than good?
STONES & INTESTINAL UPSET: Obsession with lot of raw leafy greens can lead to bloated bellies/intestinal gas, thyroid problems (many contain goitrogens) and even Kidney and other stones can form in tonsils, salivary glands and other body parts. Ingesting quantities of raw kale causes your thyroid gland to enlarge by interfering with thyroid hormone synthesis; called hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid.
Diets that mimic fasting - the 5:2 diet
Diets that mimic fasting, the 5:2 diet for Cancer Patients:
GGI recommends: Here’s Why:
The 5:2 diet is safe for most cancer patients unless serious weight loss is already an issue.
A USC-led team of scientists has found that a fasting-mimicking diet combined with hormone therapy, has the potential to help treat breast cancer. Studies on mice and in two small breast cancer clinical trials, researchers at USC and the IFOM Cancer Institute in Milan, in collaboration with the University of Genova, found that the fasting-mimicking diet reduces blood insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and leptin. In mice, these effects appear to increase the power of the cancer hormone drugs Tamoxifen and Fulvestrant and delay any resistance to them.
The Gerson Diet
Gerson Diets for Cancer Patients:
GGI does not recommend. Here’s Why: In recent years, Jess Ainscough, AKA the ‘Wellness Warrior gained much publicity promoting the Gerson Diet. Diagnosed with cancer; epithelial sarcoma at just 22, she died aged 30 but by then had become an big ‘influencer’ to the cancer community. Her promotion of the Gerson Diet on You Tube, blogs and conferences attracted many followers.
Ainscough followed the Gerson regimen of drinking 10 raw juices and undergoing five coffee enemas daily, as well as mineral supplements and sticking to a strict vegan diet. (Note: the original Gerson Diet contained Liver juice)!
Liver Cleansing Diets
Liver Cleansing Diets and botanicals for improving liver function – Caution required: GGI does not recommend. Here’s Why…
Your liver is one of the largest organs in your body. It is an ingenious and intelligent organ that replicates quickly. It contains inbuilt complex and sophisticated systems for natural detoxification processes.
It is easy to interfere with these complex systems by consuming “Liver Detox” diets, sometimes called a liver cleanse or liver cleanse diet.
Trained in the old school of naturopathy that respects the body and the body’s processes; one of my big issues with natural health care is the implication told to patients that they are toxic!
I believe this is the most negative of placebos we can tell a patient. I often witness this with new clients who are convinced they have cancer because they are toxic. There is a small truth in that statement – but they implicitly believe that because they are “toxic”, detoxifying will help them recover. They are continually trying to remove toxins from the body by all manner of diets and cleanses, food elimination, enemas & colonics. It is not that simple!
Lactose or Gluten Intolerance?
What if I am Lactose or Gluten intolerant?
Important for cancer patients – Avoid Guesswork!
Explore nutritional Gene analysis
Do not just remove dairy foods or gluten – Get tested!
Many people eliminate essential food groups when trying to become healthier or to help manage an illness such as cancer. Oftentimes they are self-diagnosed or misled by spurious testing results.
If you suspect that you are lactose or gluten intolerant or both; you need skilled professional help to sort out your nutritional requirements. But first, take a reliable test to discover if you are in fact lactose or gluten intolerant.
The reason for the absence of the lactase enzyme is the MCM6 gene, which to be accurate, is not functionally related to lactose metabolism, but regulates the activity of LCT (a gene which encodes for the lactase enzyme); the gene determines whether you will have the lactase enzyme or not. The gene based nutritional test I recommend, can inform you if you have one or two gene variants of the MCM6 gene and therefore are Lactose intolerant.
Gluten intolerance: Are you diagnosed Coeliac?
If you do not know and suspect you may have a severe gluten-related health issue – you can be tested to check if have Coeliac disease:
If you are diagnosed as celiac – gluten is one substance you will need to eliminate from your diet.
Gluten gives structure to foods such as bread and pasta but for a diagnosed Coeliac, gluten can turn the immune system into hyper-drive-causing an auto-immune response and multiple severe health conditions.
But Gluten is not bad for everyone – just some people!
A diagnosis of Coeliac disease can affect every organ in your body.