The goal of the ketogenic diet for cancer is to reduce the amount of glucose made available to tumor tissue.
When you restrict your intake of carbohydrates, you eliminate spikes in blood glucose.
Dampening the spikes in glucose also dampens spikes in insulin. Insulin is needed to activate the transporters that move glucose across cell membranes. Cancer cells can have up to ten times more insulin receptors than normal cells!
In sum, by restricting carbohydrates, blood glucose and insulin remain within a much narrower range (low and steady), thus reducing the amount of glucose that ultimately reaches cancer cells.
The ketogenic diet facilitates a desirable shift to a metabolic state known as “nutritional ketosis”.
In ketosis, fats are converted to ketones bodies. When glucose is in short supply, most normal cells can switch to using ketones and fats as fuel. In contrast, tumor cells are starved of energy because they are not as metabolically flexible as normal cells.
The ketogenic diet requires lifestyle changes.
In a typical Standard diet, carb-containing foods make up over half of your daily calories. These include sugars, grains, starchy vegetables, most fruits and legumes, and some dairy products. As you remove these from your diet, you add in more good fats and oils to provide for your energy needs.
The ketogenic diet provides adequate but not excessive amounts of protein.
Excess protein can raise glucose levels. In addition, some of the amino acids in protein (particularly glutamine) can directly fuel tumor growth.
Calorie restriction helps to slow angiogenesis.
This puts the brakes on the development of new blood vessels needed to bring nutrients to cancer cells.
Have you decided that this diet is right for you?
If so, I can offer your and your family the guidance and support you'll need to translate the research into action.
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Q: What foods can I eat?
A: Learn more about your choices-
download this list of keto-friendly foods.
Q: How long do I have to stay on this diet?
A: This is a lifestyle choice, not a diet! Once you're "keto-adapted", you may never want to go back to your former way of eating.
Q: Who will monitor my health status?
A: Most people can work within the conventional care system to get the tests they need. If your current team is not "on board", be sure to ask why so you can address their concerns.
(Read my "Get Started" page.)
Q: Is this diet appropriate for everyone?A: Some conditions (impaired fat digestion/ liver disease) or lifestyle choices (veganism, "juicing") are not compatible with a ketogenic lifestyle.