Ever wonder what these cancer diets were about?
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
As an exercise physiologist working in oncology I am often presented with questions such as what should I eat? Should I cut out sugar? My friend told me about (insert fad diet here) should I do it aswell? In a time with so much uncertainty diet often contributes with lots of information available online.
The food we eat is like petrol to a car if you drove a ferrari would you put E10 in it OR would you put the premium..... I know what I'd choose.
When going through cancer and cancer treatment it is critical to have
A) adequate fuel and
B) high quality fuel. Cancer and cancer treatment has the ability to increase your bodies metabolic rate - meaning you need more fuel to sustain energy balance. Unfortunately weight loss of as little as 5% of your body weight can have negative consequences on cancer survival and outcomes. Which is why it is so so important to fuel your body correctly.
I have recently had the pleasure of connecting with two insightful experienced oncology dietitians Lauren and Elise at oncore nutrition. They run a podcast named Two Peas in a Podcast and work out of Victoria together having over 20 years combined oncology experience! I have attached the link to their fabulous podcast addressing common cancer diet myths
My biggest take home message which I think is so critical for you all to understand is the detrimental effects of malnutrition and weight loss cannot be ignored and it is important to make sure you are fuelling yourself with a well balanced diet full of natural foods! If you are interested in changing your diet such as introducing fasting or cutting out carbohydrates/sugar please I beg of you do it alongside an experienced accredited dietitian that can walk you through each step and ensure you are fuelling yourselves adequately!
Other points of interest I took away
Sugar feeds everything and cancer can feed off everything! While sugars may be a preferred source of fuel cancer is SMART it will find alternative sources and unfortunately they are often our muscle!
Treatment with Vitamin C may actually serve be protective for cancer cells and may damped or mitigate the effect of chemotherapy/radiation.
Consider your individual circumstance before cutting out food groups.
Controversial evidence around fasting however, only effective if you can still achieve adequate intake on non fasting days.
Finally always consult a dietitian before significantly changing your diet!
Thanks for reading and feel free to message me any topics you would like covered in the next blog post!