Ketogenic Diet was originally formulated to treat children suffering from epilepsy. Clinical medicine has given recognition to Ketogenic Diet as a valuable alternative for the treatment of epilepsy since the late 90’s.
One of the pioneers in studying nutrition to treat cancer is Dr. Thomas Seyfried and his team of academic researchers. Dr. Thomas Seyfried has worked in studying how Ketogenic diet can cure epilepsy and brain cancer in Mice. His student made a suggestion to investigate if Ketogenic Diet can also be an effective alternative for treating tumors. The team of Dr. Seyfried began to study together the Ketogenic Diet, cancer, and epilepsy, winding up to better knowledge of how altering your metabolic state can successfully eliminate and target tumor cells.
What is Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic diet is a low carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. It is called restricted Ketogenic diet when it is used for the treatment of cancer. There’s restriction to calories and the carbohydrate intake is very low. The diet brings changes on how the way cells are nourished in the body. The primary energy source of the healthy cells is ketone bodies or glucose. Beta-hydroxybutyric acid and, acetoacetic acid are the principal types of ketones which are used as a source of energy.
Ketones don’t qualify as an energy source for cancer cells. Glutamine and glucose are the energy sources of cancer cells for metabolism. For that reason, the cancer cells die because of the Ketogenic diet wherein they are deprived of glutamine and glucose. The Ketogenic diet will reduce the level of glucose in the blood while the ketone bodies are elevated. The cancer cells are not supplied by their primary source of energy while the healthy cells are well nourished with ketones.
The Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
A Significant change in lifestyle and willful desire to go through withdrawal from carbohydrates is necessary for Ketogenic diet. Most people enjoy sugar and carbohydrates in their diet. Carbohydrates, when digested, are converted into sugar. That’s why people who have decided to undergo Ketogenic diet suffer from withdrawal that’s similar to the experience of drug dependents deprived of using illegal drugs. The withdrawal period will just take a few days and an experience of mental clarity and elevated sense of peace will be felt. The body will be rejuvenated with nutritional ketosis.
What to expect with Ketogenic Diet
High Fat Diet
The majority of your daily calorie intake will be coming from fats and you should put into consideration your digestive system in choosing the food that you will eat. Fats are one of the important components of the food you take and they can also be dangerous or unhealthy that’s why you should choose the healthier food. Trout, shellfish, wild salmon, and tuna is a great choice for your fat intake to have a balanced diet of Omega-3’s. You have the option to take fish oil supplement if you dislike the taste of fish. You can also take krill oil for your Omega-3’s.
The less inflammatory and chemically stable saturated and monounsaturated fats for most people are egg yolks, butter, coconut oil, and macadamia nuts. Dressings and sauces are simple ways for you to combine your fats and oils.
Keep away from hydrogenated fats like margarine to lessen your intake of trans fat. A study has been made, linking trans fat to higher chances of acquiring coronary heart disease. You should also choose the cold pressed variation if you are using vegetable oil. Go after coconut oil, beef tallow, lard, or ghee, if you love to fry your food because they have more smoke points compared to other oils. This permits less oxidization of the oils, which you get more Essential Fatty Acids. Lessen your intake of seed based food or nuts like corn oil, almonds, sunflower oil, pine nuts, and walnuts because they are so high in inflammatory Omega-6s.
Protein and other Nutrients
The best protein that you can get is meat from grass fed because it has better fatty acid count. Free-range eggs from the local market would be the choice to supplement your protein. The best vegetables for Ketogenic diet are leafy greens that have been grown from above ground. It’s best if you go for organic vegetables for less pesticide residue. If organic vegetables are not available, it’s ok because studies show that organic and non-organic veggies have the same nutritional value.
Vegetables are so nutritious and so important for a healthy diet, however, there are those that contain lots of sugar and you should avoid them. The vegetables that you need for Ketogenic diet are those that are low in carbohydrates and high in nutrients and they appear to be leafy and dark. It’s safe to say that the best vegetables resemble kale or spinach.
The full fat milk is the best for Ketogenic diet. Other dairy products you can eat are cheese, sour cream, and buttermilk. Peanuts should be avoided because they are not permitted as nutrition for Ketogenic diet. As for other nuts and seeds like macadamias, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews, they should be roasted for the removal of the anti-nutrients.
Drink Lots of Water
The Ketogenic diet is diuretic and that’s why a lot of people starting out suffer from dehydration. You have to be really prepared for this kind of diet most especially if you suffer pain in your bladder or is likely to get urinary tract infections. The ideal is 8 glasses of water a day and it’s recommended for you to drink more.
Disclaimer: This blog post does not promote Ketogenic diet as a cure for cancer. It is an unapproved alternative and is still under study and research for its effectiveness in the treatment of cancer.