Diet for Cancer – The most sore and controversial aspect of cancer healing

When I first started CA Care, one of the thing I did was to read as many books as I can get hold on regarding the diet which are suitable for cancer patients. From my reading, I came to realize and firmly believe that diet plays an important role in the healing of cancer.

I also took to heart what some doctors themselves said about diet. Reflect on these:

I have come to the conclusion that there is no two ways about it — cancer patients cannot eat what they like! This is the very opposite of what patients are being told by their doctors! No need to “pantang”. You can eat what you like. When the cancer recurred after an apparently “successful” treatment, one doctor told his patient – This has nothing to do with your diet! It is just your luck. Fated ! Wow, scientific medicine believes in “karma” too! Wonderful world indeed.

Diet – quackery?

From my many years of taking care of cancer patients, I must say that keeping to a good diet is the most sore point among cancer patients. Many patients do not want to take care of their diet. They want to eat what they like. They say – Cannot this, cannot eat that. If I cannot eat what I like, then life is not worth living.

Yes, I have begun to accept this reality. So this is my advice: There is no use coming to see us if you don’t want to take care of your diet. Healing of cancer is about you. Do you want to really help yourself or not? Believing that by taking “magic” supplements, herbs, etc. or undergoing surgery, chemotherapy or/and radiotherapy would “cure” your cancer is faulty thinking!

Most patients know that doctors generally do not believe in “diet” – they tell their patients to eat anything they like. Well, I don’t intend to argue with them on this topic. Those who believe, let them believe; those who don’t believe let them be. I have taken heed of this advice below!

Confusing world of nutrition: What the alternative healers say!

The responsibility of using diet as a way to help cancer patients generally fall on the shoulders of the alternative healers — the so called snake oil peddlers! Or the quacks.

When I first started reading books on dietary recommendation for cancer, I must say I was just frustrated. There are so many different and and contradicting views. This confused me. Everyone wants to be a hero and everyone claims that their dietary regime is magical and can “cure” cancer. Sad world indeed.

Here are some the dietary regimes that are being championed:

  • High protein diet. Eat cancer-fighting foodssuch as chicken, fish, lean beef, Greek yogurt, beans, lentils, peas, soy foods, eggs and nuts. Did they say we cannot eat rice or carbohydrate?
  • Macrobiotic diet. The formula is: Take 40% to 60% whole grains; 20% to 30% vegetables, including sea vegetables’ % to 10% legumes, including beans, lentils and soy foods and a small amounts of fruit, fish, seeds and nuts.
  • Gerson Therapy. Drink lots of crushed and juiced fruit and vegetables daily. Consume the juiced and crushed food hourly, for at least 13 hours every day. Take multiple dietary supplements daily including potassium, vitamin B12, pancreatic enzymes and “thyroid-support” products, etc.
  • Budwig Diet. Consume a blend of flaxseed oil and cottage cheese every day. The program also includes juicing and other whole plant foods. The diet omits pork, shellfish, animal fats, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and preservatives, refined flour and grains, hydrogenated oils and fats and all dairy, except cottage cheese.
  • Keto diet. This diet recommends a very high-fat, low-protein, extremely low-carbohydrate eating plan. Your diet should consist of 80% to 90% fat and 8% to 15% protein. The remaining calories can come from carbohydrates.

There are many more diet recommendations for cancer patients. You just need to sit in front of your computer if you want to learn more.

Grape therapy by Dr. Johanna Brandt

 Wheat Grass Therapy and  Hippocrates Diet,

Blood Diet Type by Dr. Peter D’Adamo,

Dr. Moerman’s Anti-cancer Diet,

The Dries Cancer Diet,

The Paleo Diet,

 South Beach Diet,

Atkins Diet. etc.

Although these diets appear appealing to some people, I am afraid cancer patients do not have the time and luxury to try out or experiment for themselves to know if such diet does or does not help them. Because of that some patients come to me asking for my opinion on this and that diet. My response to them are as follows:

  1. I do not believe that diet by itself can cure your cancer. Help yes, but not cure.
  2. Use your head to decide what is good for you.

One lady started to drink 15 to 20 glass of juice per day and she fainted. After all she has never done such thing before. Another lady had severe diarrhoea after taking so much juices.

I am not saying juices are not good for you but I am also telling you NOT to drink that much each day. Use your common sense.

  1. Learn to live a healthy life by looking back at what your fore fathers ate and did. If they had been eating rice all their lives, I just wonder why do people say — Now you need to eat a lot of meat and fat? Do you see any logic with such advice?

I believe we Asians need to learn from the wisdom of our forefathers in trying to find solution to our health problems.

  1. Today we are facing all kinds of serious chronic health problems — obesity, heart problems, all kinds of cancer, etc. Why the sudden explosion of such cases — is it not due to eating non-natural, GMO modified, ultra-refined, junk food, besides alcohol, tobacco, etc. ?

The most important point is: whatever conclusions we arrive at — what to eat and what not to eat — it must be based on scientific study and scientific data. How many patients are being helped or benefited from whatever fancy diet that is proposed. Where is the solid, results to prove the claim?

Over the years of reading books by many authors about diet, I want to say that Professor T. Colin Campbell has earned my highest respect. The conclusions derived from his years of research make a lot of sense.

Professor T. Colin Campbell was a professor at Cornell University, USA. He wrote the book, The China Study. It is 417 pages thick and is packed with nutrition facts and research statistics. In this age of Whatsapp, Twitter, etc not many people like to read such thick, scientific book!  They prefer to be led by the nose by certain “guru” or self-proclaimed nutritional expert.

I am not asking you to read The China Study if you have no time or no desire to do so. But at least you can read the summary of the book below if you want to get well or stay healthy.

I outlined some of the important information obtained from three articles which I read in the internet.

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/china-study-cheat-sheet-10-things-you-need-to-know/

https://www.allencheng.com/the-china-study-summary-t-colin-campbell/

https://medium.com/karlbooklover/the-china-study-summary-3c1d9b2a682d

 Professor Campbell’s The China Study and his research

The China Study is based, in part, on one of the most extensive nutrition studies ever done. For the project, Professor Colin Campbell’s Cornell team partnered with Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine to study the diets, lifestyles, and diseases of inhabitants of rural China. The data collected spanned over 20 years.

The study they created included 367 variables, 65 counties in China, and 6,500 adults (who completed questionnaires, blood tests, etc.). “When we were done, we had more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables.”

What sets the whole foods, plant-based diet that Professor Campbell advocated apart from the various dietary fads I listed above  is the extensive research behind it. The evidence is compelling and the message clear.

In The China Study, Professor  T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and his son, Thomas M. Campbell II, MD, discuss and analyze the results from the study (and other influential nutrition research) and recommend their protocol for the best diet for long-term health.

Here are what Professor Campbell want all of us to know:

  1. Eating plant foods may be one of the leading determiners of health in rural China, and eating animal protein may be one of the leading causes of disease in the Western world.

People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest.

  • Eat plant-based proteins.These come in the forms of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eat as much as you want, as long as what you’re eating is plant-based and unrefined.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetablesto increase your antioxidant intake and protect yourself against free radicals. This also ensures you’re getting all the essential amino acids for healthy growth and increased strength.
  1. Animal foods lead to disease; plant foods prevent and treat it. 
  • Avoid animal-based proteinsto decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.
  • Animal-based proteins are those in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. In hundreds of studies, eggs, cheese, milk, and meat have all been shown to increase your risk of everything from obesity and diabetes to cancer and autoimmune diseases.
  1. Animal protein promotes the growth of cancer. Professor Campbell grew up on a dairy farm, so he regularly enjoyed a wholesome glass of milk. Not anymore.
  • The growth of cancer cells can be turned on and off by raising and lowering doses of casein, the main protein found in cow’s milk.
  • Reduce your intake of milk products—casein has been shown to increase cholesterol and promote tumor growth.

4.You don’t need to eat meat.  There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.

  • Almost any nutrient you can find in animal-based foods, you can find in a healthier form in plant-based foods.
  • Plant-based foods have a much better nutrient profile than animal-based foods. Plant-based foods have a lot more antioxidant, fiber, and mineral content than animal foods.
  1. Eat a high-carb, rather than a low-carb diet.But make sure you’re getting your carbohydrates from whole, not refined, foods. Highly-processed, refined carbohydrates are bad for you.
  2. Eating high-fat, high protein and low carbohydrates could have dangerous side effects for long-term health. 
  • Eliminate saturated fat from your diet.Saturated fats are generally found in animal products. Foods with especially high amounts include beef, pork, poultry skins, hot dogs, bacon, lunch meats, butter, lard, high-fat dairy, and fried foods.
  • Get less than 10% of your calories from fatto prevent or treat heart disease.
  1. You don’t have to tailor your diet for specific health benefits.  Nutrition that is truly beneficial for one chronic disease will support health across the board. Nutrition which prevent disease can also halt or reverse disease. For example:
  • Heart disease can be reversed through nutrition. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD, a physician and researcher at the best cardiac center in the country, The Cleveland Clinic, treated 18 patients with established coronary disease using a whole food, plant-based diet. Not only did the intervention stop the progression of the disease, but 70 percent of the patients saw an opening of their clogged arteries.
  • It’s not just cancer and heart disease that respond to a whole food, plant-based diet. Research showed it may also help protect you from diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, bone, kidney, eye, and brain diseases.

Understanding the Principles of the Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet

  1. Various nutrients work together to achieve health. No single nutrient is responsible for good health. What matters most is how the various nutrients in foods work together to create change in the body and maintain good health. This is why eating whole foods rather than taking nutrition supplements is so important.
  2. Avoid supplements. Exceptions are for vitamin B12, and vitamin D (if you live in an area with limited sunlight). Our body needs a wide variety of complex nutrients. Instead of focusing on individual nutrients we should go for variety. Vitamin supplements cannot replace good whole foods. Isolated nutrients are a waste of money and some of them even are potentially dangerous as they can cause an intoxication.

So get your nutrients from food, not pills. The way nutrients function in the body is complex, and it’s not always clear whether certain benefits come from a single nutrient or from the whole food, so you’re better off eating the whole food.

  1. Good nutrition can counter the negative effects of carcinogens. We think that carcinogens cause cancer, but, carcinogens likely need to be activated to do harm. They’re often activated by diets high in animal protein. Conversely, antioxidant-rich plant foods can diminish the potency of carcinogens.
  2. Nutrition that prevents one disease is probably beneficial for health in general. Whole, plant foods seem to reduce risk across the board. Therefore, a diet that’s good for your heart is also good for your brain, liver, kidneys, and nervous system.
  3. Good nutrition works holistically with physical activity, mental and emotional health, and our environment.
  • Positive lifestyle changes work together and build off one another to promote health. For example, eating well gives us more energy. Having more energy makes it easier to exercise more. Exercising more promotes mental and emotional health. When we’re in a better mood, we eat healthier meals, and the cycle continues.
  • Exercise 15-45 minutes a day, every day.

Our advice to cancer patients who come to seek our help 

  • Take care of your diet. Don’t take meat (or anything that walks!); no oil (exception: coconut or olive oil); no refined sugars, use sea salt instead of the processed fine, table salt. We don’t give our diet therapy any fanciful name  – there is no need to create a cult or fad!
  • Our mission is to make you well by asking you to eat fresh (unprocessed), healthy plant-based food.
  • Do patients benefit by following our diet recommendation. YES, definitely! Patients who started to eat what they like suffered badly even after being well for a while. Click on this link to learn more about this: https://cancercaremalaysia.com/category/diet-nutrition/
  • Whether you wish to follow our dietary recommendation or not is entirely up to you! Health is your responsibility. To get well, to stay healthy or to remain ill is entirely your choice.

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Beware: Americans are the sickest and most overweight people in the world! Why? No doubt it is due to the SAD diet – the Standard American Diet. In America everyone wants to find a “magic” diet to make them well while they gobble down alcohol, soda, junky fast food, steak, etc. etc. So you see, there is opportunity to make easy money if you can come up with a “nice sounding” formula to make people healthy instantly! 

The goal of the “health” industry is to make a profit, not to make us healthy.

Part of the problem is that genuine, useful research is buried beneath fad diets, miracle pills, and marketing propaganda. The people and companies who give us health advice are often also the ones who profit from our diseases.

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Watch this video.

Why is the Science of Nutrition Ignored in Medicine? by Professor Colin Campbell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmWoWOM16uE