We in the western world have an addiction. No matter who we are or what we do, no matter how much we exercise or how much we eat, almost all of us are afflicted. In fact, this addiction has become so normalized that we usually don’t even notice it. Yet, it can cause us to pursue damaging and even life-threatening behaviors. That’s right, we’re all addicted to… Convenience. We live in an age where convenience is no longer regarded as a fun novelty or a useful helping hand. We treat it as if it were a fundamental human right. And why wouldn’t we? Convenience has become such an intrinsic part of our lifestyle that we can hardly imagine a life where we weren’t able to answer any question we come across with a quick Google search or get dinner delivered piping hot to our door in a matter of minutes. This convenience has led many of our lifestyle habits down a dangerous path but perhaps none so much as our eating habits. Keto and cancer have become a popular talking point lately and today we are going to explore it with this Collaborative post.
Don’t blame yourself too much. In today’s increasingly hectic lifestyle, we all need a little convenience. We’re working harder than ever, putting more hours in at work. Doubling up on overtime just so that we can meet the skyrocketing cost of living. As such, when we do get some free time, we want to spend it relaxing and enjoying ourselves, not sweating away at the gym or slaving over a hot stove. The trouble, however, is that the more we feed our addiction to convenience, the more we wind up endangering our health. Here we’ll look at how our modern lifestyle can increase our risk of cancer and how this can be avoided.
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Keto and Cancer Prevention
The big C and the little things we do to invite it
Cancer research has come an incredibly long way. Check out www.herabiolabs.com for an eye-opening insight into how new gene editing techniques are changing the way in which we treat diseases previously believed to be incurable. But while gene editing technology could mean that we see a cure emerge within our lifetime, for now, prevention is probably the best cure.
Unfortunately, our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is hardly conducive to the prevention of cancer. Whether it’s at work, in the car, or at home, most of us are spending more time than ever sitting. Sitting is (anthropomorphically speaking) a relatively new configuration for the human body and we still haven’t quite evolved to cope with it. Sitting (especially while slouched) causes us to put a lot of pressure on our internal organs and can increase our risk not only of cancer but of heart disease and diabetes, too. Then there’s our diet.
Our convenience addiction sees us rushing out to buy high calorie, low nutrient convenience foods from our vending machines at work or nearby fast food joints. That means more trans fats, more refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar and more processed, sodium enriched meats. Not only does a ketogenic diet help you to sidestep the weight gain and energy fluctuations inherent in relying on these foods, there’s evidence that it could even help to reduce your risk of cancer…
Keto and cancer: The facts and the fictions
If you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ve probably read quite a bit about the ketogenic diet and how it can help you lose weight and keep it off. The keto diet is about far more than looking slim. It’s about a healthy and balanced diet. One that ensures that not only do we look good, we are healthy, fit and feel good too.
Recent research has shown that a ketogenic diet can be effective in both preventing and managing cancer. No diet is a complete remedy and you should take with a huge pinch of salt any that claim to be. But there is scientific evidence to suggest that a ketogenic diet weakens cancer cells. This is because a ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates like sugar. Sugar is the primary fuel source of cancer cells and when they have an abundance of it they can multiply with ease. Starving your body of sugars and forcing it to burn local body fat instead quite literally starves cancer cells.
But while a ketogenic diet can help prevent and manage cancer, doesn’t mean that it always does. If you’re to use a keto diet to your advantage in this way, it’s essential that you do so correctly…
It’s about what you eat, not what you avoid
The keto diet is similar to other low carb diets like the Atkins and Dukan diets. But where these stray into the potentially damaging, keto steers towards healthier habits. The Atkins diet, in particular, promotes protein at the expense of all other macronutrients and vilifies all carbohydrates.
The trouble with this is that too much protein can lead to kidney damage, calcium deficiency and increased risk of cancer and heart disease. A keto diet places an emphasis on healthy fats over proteins. Any good diet is about what you should eat, rather than what you should avoid. This means…
Keto should never mean fewer veggies
Those on a keto diet know that it’s not enough to simply cut out the refined carb-rich foods. Cutting out white breads, rice and pasta is one thing but that doesn’t mean that we should just stick to meat, fish, and dairy.
We also need to ensure that we get plenty of fresh vegetables in our diet. These are full of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to be at our best. More importantly, however, they are rich in fiber which has been proven to help reduce the risk of colon cancer as well as being packed full of phytonutrients which are an essential part of a healthy immune system. Without these nutrient dense, low calorie foods we can’t hope to maintain the healthy immune system.
Just make sure you pick healthy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens! Stay away from overly starchy veggies such as potatoes.
Not all meat is good meat
Ketogenic diets do not exclude animal products. Protein sources like poultry and fish are essential elements of a keto diet. Eggs are a quick and healthy source of protein and healthy fats like omega 3’s. When we cut foods traditionally associated with cravings like white flour and sugar from our diet, our minds go to their second favorite comfort food… Meat. The thing is not all meats are created equal. Eating only heavily processed meats like bacon, ham, salami, pastrami or pepperoni can actually increase your cancer risk. This is because these foods have been classified by the World Health Organization as type 1 carcinogens. That’s the same category as cigarettes. You wouldn’t sprinkle tobacco leaves over your salad so you should avoid overdoing it on the bacon bits too! Moderation is the key here!
Fats are friends… But you should choose your friends wisely
Fats have endured a bad rep over the years. A smear campaign against them in the ‘70s saw a surge in low fat, high sugar “healthy” alternatives. The great thing about the keto diet is that it has helped us realize that fats can be friends. That said, you should choose your friends wisely. If you’re to get keto right, you need to learn to sort out the good fats from the bad. Trans fats (man-made fats) such as those found in processed baked goods and hydrogenated vegetable fats found in margarine are out the window. The good news is that this still leaves plenty of other fats including coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil and animal fats like butter or lard.
Meal prep makes it manageable
So, how do we marry the health benefits of a ketogenic diet with our lifestyle addiction? Well, meal prep is the best way to make this diet manageable. When we prepare our meals in advance, we always have a healthy alternative within reach. This makes us less likely to submit to the temptation of candy bars or potato chips.
With just a little organization and discipline you and your family can enjoy a happier, healthier, leaner and disease-free future.
This has been a Collaborative Post