Diet overload

Good evening ladies, so this is the 3rd time I'm going to try and post this question, keep forgetting to press post!

Since my diagnosis I have been overwhelmed by the support, love and help from family and friends. But along with that came advice on cancer fighting diets! I'm now on a just fruit and veg diet. No sugar no carbs no dairy no meat no beans limited eggs and I'm eating fruits and veg I had never heard of!

There is soo much online about fasting diets to aid chemo and not eating build immune system up after chemo to give the chemo the best chance at killing the cancer.

It's ok not making me too miserable just feel like I need some control but need to be sensible about it too. Soo I'm looking for advice. Is anyone on here on a cancer beating diet? And if so what works best for you?


Much love Asma x

17 Replies

  • Dear Asthma

    I don' think any medical expert would put you on a restrictive diet unless there was some medical reason for you to give up certain foods. Look at the dietary advice from the Royal Marsden on their website or in their cook book - Macmillan and several other organisations have published recipe books for eating well with cancer.

    Everyone advises a balanced diet with a mix of protein, fats, starches, etc. There is no evidence whatsoever that giving up sugar, carbs, dairy, meat is good for you or advisable, You need a balanced diet of all food types to keep well just as you did before you started being treated for cancer.

    There are so many crazy books out there. Do please seek dietary advice from your hospital if you're unsure. Cutting out essential elements of food really isn't a good way forward.

    sending love xx

    xx Annie

  • Sugar feeds cancer

  • Dear Laura,

    I'm only a patient and all I can do is to relate what Professor Iain McNeish told the audience at an Ovacome Q&A session at the 2012 Members' Day and advice from various experts.

    Iain was asked by one of the women if we should avoid sugar. His answer was that to avoid getting cancer and for general wellbeing it's advisable to keep sugar intake to the recommended daily levels. He said there was no need for cancer patients to cut out sugar entirely because cancer has the ability to convert body tissue into sugar to feed it and that's why patients with advanced cancer tend to lose weight.

    Perhaps staff at Ovacome can comment here as they will have good advice on diet and what we eat is an important consideration. From all I've read and heard we are advised to have a sensible balanced diet to keep us as fit and well as possible. If a patient is only eating fruit and veg they will not be getting all the essential nutrients they need to keep their body fit and well and the fruit element of the diet may well provide more sugars than the recommended daily sugar intake.

    I can only suggest seeking advice from a nutritionalist who will advise on what is a balanced diet.

    This is the eat well plate advice from the English NHS and one recommended by Penny Brohn in Bristol, the Royal Marsden and many other experts:

    Plenty of fruit and vegetables

    Plenty of starchy foods, such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta

    Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein

    Some milk and dairy foods

    Just a small amount of food and drinks that are high in fat and/or sugar

    Portion control is also important. Dr Phil Hammond's advice is rather amusing. He says turn your plate upside down and only eat what remains on the plate. I haven't tried that but it got the message across.

    xx Annie

  • I agree Annie, my hospital said a balanced diet x

  • I agree with you Annie.

  • I absolutely understand where you're coming from. When I was first diagnosed, I read Jane Plant's book and swallowed her theory about dairy hook, line and sinker. I had a miserable time of it for months. I also read Jean Servan Schreiber's book, Anti Cancer, which I can't recommend highly enough.

    Alas, Jane Plant's theory isn't true - you only have to look at the breast cancer forums to read posts of hundreds of women who have followed her advice without it making any difference to their disease. Also, her diet has now been around for many years - if it did work, we would know about it.

    Several studies have shown that there is association with high dairy consumption and ovarian cancer - but there appears to be no association between limited dairy consumption and OC. Similarly, a few studies have shown that a vegetarian diet might be helpful to certain cancers, but there is no conclusive proof.

    Every living cell need energy from carbohydrates or sugar - if you eat neither your body will utilise the sugars and carbs in vegetables, or break down your body fat. There's a lot of sugar in fruit. You have to remember that a lot of these theories are based on what some Americans eat, which can be up to 80% dairy, the rest being refined, processed foods.

    I think the balance described in Anti Cancer is the right approach - good, wholesome food based around vegetables, pulses and wholegrains, with a little organically produced chicken, meat and dairy.

    That's the diet I've followed - with lapses - since my diagnosis. Whether it's helped or not I don't know. I have the odd ice cream, cake, etc..

    The issue of diet and cancer is one of many aspects that needs more conclusive research. But remember, stress also causes a cancer and is suspected to have a role in its recurrence. So stressing too much about what you eat is not good.

    I hope this helps a little. Vxxx

  • I think the dairy research was done in Scandinavia. I can't remember whether it covered the question of animal welfare and the extent to which dairy herds are fed growth enhancers and antibiotics propyhlactically.

    Certainly reading GUT has made me steer cleer as far as possible from non-organic dairy to avoid these.

  • Hello

    I have read anti cancer and found it really useful. I also found Chris woolams book the rainbow diet very good. I am still finding may way with my diet and have been overwhelmed by different advice. One cannot live on fruit and veg alone, yes if you have beans and pulses and good carbs too. I was very strict before my op, low gi, no dairy, mainly raw, vegan but was not feeling the health food after the op. I lost a stone and a half too so I need to be putting on weight. Being winter as well I don't want to eat salads I want warm hearty meals. So at present cheese and bread and bacon are in my diet, but will be looking to lose them again apart from special treats come the new year. How can you not eat cheese over Christmas. So come the new year I will be shaking up my diet again for a healthy start to the new year. I will be sticking to a low gi diet, with lots of good complex carbs, I don't think I can totally give up bread, but have a few bakeries that do a low gi bread. No processed foods, organic chicken and occasionally other meats. No dairy apart from cheese (trying to stick to organic, none cows milk cheese) and only occassionally. I am still eating eggs, good source of protein so not losing them. Increasing my nuts and seeds intake, sprouting my own seeds including broccoli seeds. I also have my first batch of sauerkraut fermenting. I am juicing, mainly veg juices with one piece of fruit. I eat my fruit at the start of the day about 3 pieces and trying to make them low gi, alkalising fruits.

    I think there is a lot in fasting before chemo if you can handle it. Once I am finished with chemo and after I have recuperated I want to look into doing a juice cleanse/fast.

    There are some useful info on food and diet on the cancerucan Facebook page, healthy food house,,

    Good luck getting the right balance and don't be too strict on yourself.

  • I totally agree with most of the comments already made.

    Don't make yourself miserable by cutting out things you enjoy but keep your diet balanced.

    Penny Brohn diet advice is great, lots of vegetables and fruit and meat and fish as well. Try to keep your dinner plate two thirds veg and one third protein.

    For snacks try nuts and fruit and eat organic where possible.

    I lost weight initially when diagnosed trying to cut out all the things I loved but I now treat myself to a little chocolate and cake when I need it and concentrate on the good veg in soups for lunch and on my dinner plate.

    Raw salads are also great.

    Good luck. X

    PS I have put some weight back on again now though I'm still rather skinny!!!

  • I haven't read any cancer diet books but I don't really see the benefit of eating just fruit and nuts.i haven't really changed may diet.when I find I have no appetite it's very difficult to eat anything so you have to eat the best you can.when I have my appetite I try to eat normally.surely you need some protein and carbohydrate in your diet.regards carolyn

  • Thanks ladies, I suppose I just have to be sensible about it something I'm not too good it!

    Will take in advice and see where I go. I can honest say most of my food cut outs have been due to them giving me tummy cramps beans pluses and cause constipation 😕

  • Hi ladies, well maybe everything in moderation not including the moderation in chocolates for the season that is in it. If people want to feel good and give me chocolates at Xmas, I have no problem at all with it. I think that if the body doesnt get glucose, it makes its own so cutting out the sweeties and treats does harm too. Sometimes I agree it is better to eat what we fancy rather than not eat at all. We need to eat and more people with cancer die from losing weight than from gaining it.

  • Regarding the sugar question, I asked the oncologist I had at the time and he was head of trials. And his answer was " a little bit of sugar is a wonderful thing". sums it up I suppose, a couple of chocs, not the full box, ha ha.

  • Asma your diet sounds far too restrictive to me. It's good to not have too much meat and dairy (but where are you getting your protein? You say no beans, but nuts? lentils? I've been vegetarian for a very long time, still got cancer. You need a more balanced and inclusive diet than you seem to be having.

  • Hi Asma

    Eat to feel well and happy. I think that a lot of the restrictive diets are about people punishing themselves because they've been made to feel that it's their own fault that they have cancer. It really isn't. Food plays such an important part in the quality of life and I think it's rather sad that people are encouraged to deny themselves when they should be enjoying a varied diet with added treats when desired.

    Mary xx

  • Thank you for the advice. Certainly given me something to think about.

    Much love

    Asma x

  • I didn't follow a special diet, I just made sure I ate a well balanced diet, which I believe is what is required. If you were supposed to avoid certain foods, I believe we would be told by the medical e cperts to do this. Good luck. Ann x

You may also like...