Cancer is one of the biggest medical fears of our era. It seems to be everywhere, with one in three Westerners destined to develop a tumor or cancerous growth in their lifetimes. And whilst much of this increase in cancer rates can be attributed to the longer lifespans we enjoy thanks to modern medicine, it is also a worrying fact that cancer rates are increasing in all populations, including infants.
But what is cancer? You may be surprised to find out that our bodies produce cancer cells every single day. Thousands of them. Cells continually mutate, which is how evolution occurs. Some of these mutations are neutral, so our bodies leave them alone. They may become successful, or they may vanish, but as they do no harm, they are fine. Some of these mutations are harmful. Maybe the cells act erratically, maybe they are toxic, or maybe they are invasive. But these cells are killed by our immune system and flushed out of our bodies. A tumor is when these cells are not killed and grow out of control into a mass that should not be there. A cancer is when the cells in our tumor break free, and start causing similar growths in other parts of the body. This is an important distinction. Technically warts are tumors, but as they just sit there, they are nothing to worry about. But when that type of cell starts growing on our organs, we are not far off from organ failure. And cancer may mean multiple organ tumors, and therefore multiple organ failure.
We can’t completely avoid cancer. Some animals, living their own, natural lives, get it. Humans in Ancient Egypt suffered from it. It will still exist, and you may still get it no matter what you do. But you can definitely reduce your risk of developing it. Enter the low carb, high fat diet. A low carb, high fat diet acts on several fronts to reduce our chances of developing cancer.
First of all, it is important to understand that cancer cells thrive on glucose, not ketones. All cells in our body make use of glucose to run efficiently. This is because glucose is a simple, free-floating energy source that insulin moves into any available cell. Ketones, on the other hand, are harder for cells to work with and when we have too many are excreted in our urine. This means that when a cancerous growth is trying to establish itself, running on ketones might just starve it, giving our bodies a chance to eliminate it and heal.
Secondly, cancer cannot survive a highly alkaline body. Sugars and proteins are the biggest causes of acidity inside our bodies. When we eat a low carb, low protein, high fat diet we are encouraging our bodies to stay alkaline. A diet rich in leafy greens and healthy, whole, natural fats will create an environment that is hostile to cancer.
Thirdly, eating more fat regulates our hormones and helps us to recover from stress better. When we are stressed, be it mentally, physically, or immunologically, our bodies are fighting hard to keep us healthy and active. Stress is a very good thing, in that it allows us to push beyond our limits. But all this pushing compromises our bodies, and we need to recover so that our immune systems are strong enough to fight cancer. By eating enough cholesterol, we keep our immune system fully charged.
Finally, many carb-rich foods also have allergens and inflammatory compounds associated with them. A common culprit is gluten in the form of wheat, but most proteins in most grains and legumes can cause irritation and stress the immune system. Many fruits are also common allergens, such as bananas, strawberries, apples, etc. But besides that, some carbs themselves such as lactose and fructose, are hard to digest and cause inflammation throughout the body.
Nothing is certain in this world. But the research here is very clear. By focusing on a diet that is based on leafy greens, low carb roots, berries, and natural animal and vegetable fats, we can massively reduce our chances of developing cancer.