Monday, April 15, 2013

Guest Post: Paleo Diet and its Benefit For Cancer Sufferers

Cancer. It's a word we seem to hear on almost a daily basis. We all know someone who has it, and we all try our best not to get it. Sometimes the word is used so often we forget the true impact behind it. I was recently contacted by David Haas about having a guest post specifically focusing on diet and cancer. David is an advocate of cancer patients around the country. As he said, a healthy body and mind go a long way in the fight against this awful disease. Sometimes I forget that not everyone is aware of how much diet affects every aspect of a person's health, including contracting and dealing with cancer. Here is David's article:

Many types of diets have been touted for their beneficial effects on health. The Paleo diet is one of the latest, with its focus on how our early human ancestors consumed foods. The theory suggests that humans adapted to this diet, which can help to decrease the risk from many of the health problems that are seen today, such as obesity, Type-2 diabetes and heart disease. The Paleo diet may also be helpful for people with cancer, whether before diagnosis, during treatment or after treatment.

What Is The Paleo Diet?

Researchers note that early humans survived by consuming large amounts of meat and whatever vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds were available in their area. They did not cultivate grain products until later in their history. They postulate that the human body adapted to the foods that were available and that we are still built to thrive with that type of diet. The Paleo diet attempts to simulate the diets of these early people with a high percentage of protein from meat, poultry and fish. Carbohydrates are provided by large amounts of vegetables and fruits. Nuts and berries provide the essential fats and other nutrients to the diet. The diet does not include grains or dairy products. In addition, the diet avoids the use of processed foods, which contain many artificial ingredients, and sweeteners that would not be found in the primitive diet.

Benefits of the Paleo Diet

Proponents of the diet say that it is an effective way to lose weight without feeling derived, unlike many low calorie diets. The high amount of protein help to keep blood sugar levels stable. Some studies show the diet can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels for better heart health. Though the amount of protein consumed in the Paleo diet is above the daily U.S. Dietary Recommendation, the diet provides increased fiber from vegetables and fruit, more potassium and more vitamin B-12. However, the diet is low in calcium and vitamin. Supplements may be necessary to get all the nutrients that are needed. 

Best Nutrition For People With Cancer

Physicians often differ widely on their diet recommendations for patients with cancer, depending on the type of cancer and needs of the individual. However, the American Cancer Society recommends lean meat and fish, whole grains, and plentiful amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants to help fight the cancer. Though the Paleo diet does not contain grain, the other components of the diet can supply many of the required nutrients.

How the Paleo Diet Can Help

The Paleo diet can help patients’ overall health before cancer treatment by regulating blood sugar and reducing weight. In addition, the high protein levels in the Paleo diet can help with fatigue during intensive treatment, such as is required with mesothelioma and other cancers. After treatment, the Paleo diet helps to maintain strength and maintain blood sugar during the recovery period. The low carbohydrate level will also help to prevent weight problems after treatment, a known factor in the recurring incidence of cancer.

About the author:
Joining the MCA in 2011, David Haas is the Director of Awareness Programs. In addition to researching much of the information available to our site’s visitors, David often blogs about programs available and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. David is a fitness enthusiast who frequently runs, climbs, and bikes for enjoyment. He is also very involved in outreach associated with awareness about the dangers of asbestos for many different organizations and groups of people.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a good new to all cancer patients. We know that cancer is one of the serious conditions that each of us don't want to have. Exercise helps a lot and we should put it then in our daily routines.

    Orange County Cancer Fitness