The key to living a healthy lifestyle has a lot to do with finding balance and moderation in all areas of life, from work to pastimes to exercise to sleep. One of the most important areas is diet; what we put into our bodies for fuel plays a key role in determining what we get out. Consuming a healthful, well-rounded diet is critical, especially when receiving holistic cancer treatment or trying to prevent cancer.
To help you maintain a preventive lifestyle or help fight off cancer, here are 5 tips for nutritious eating habits:
1. Avoid added sugars.
It’s important to avoid added sugars as much as possible. Not only does sugar add unnecessary calories to your diet, but it can also be disastrous to a cancer treatment program such as IPT (insulin potentiation therapy). Cancer cells possess more sugar receptors than healthy cells. So in the presence of added sugar, they thrive. The holistic cancer treatment method of IPT attacks cancer cells using low-dose chemotherapy, followed shortly after by glucose. As the cancerous cells try to consume the small amount of sugar available, they end up consuming the chemo drugs as well. Extra sugar in a diet can provide nutrition to the cancer cells when the chemotherapy drugs are not present, giving them the energy they need to keep growing. Therefore, avoiding that extra sugar intake is essential. Many processed and “low-fat” foods use sugar to make up for the flavor deficit, so be sure to keep an eye on those labels.
2. Consume fruit in moderation.
Fruit contains important vitamins and nutrients, but the natural sugars present in some fruit, like bananas and pears, can raise blood glucose and alter the effectiveness of an IPT treatment. Most berries are fine to eat and the fiber in most fruit slows the absorption of their sugars when eaten. That way, blood glucose levels don’t rise significantly. However, blending fruits into juice releases the sugars and will raise your blood sugar. If you’re undergoing a treatment for disease, be sure to consult with your physician to determine how much fruit is safe to consume.
3. Include more vegetables.
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: Vegetables and legumes contain a dense amount of the nutrients your body needs, whether you’re healthy or fighting disease. Consume them at every meal, if possible. If you get bored, look for new, healthy recipes to mix things up, but don’t forget to monitor ingredients such as sugar and salt. Additionally, try to purchase organic vegetables when possible, as they may contain greater nutrient value than conventionally grown food.
4. Reconsider snack time.
We all get snack cravings sometimes — whether mid-morning, afternoon, or late at night. Remember that what you snack on can be just as important as what you have at meal time. Unfortunately, most snack foods are highly processed and loaded with added sugar, so peek at the label before taking a bite. Instead of choosing the “gas station” type snacks, choose something with more nutrient value. This can include unsalted trail mix with a mixture of nuts and dried fruit, or even some raw almonds or broccoli sprouts, which both contain vital nutrients.
5. More water, less soda.
Soda (even the diet kind), sweet iced tea, and sports drinks such as Gatorade contain a high amount of added sugar and empty calories. As we’ve discussed, sugar can be a dangerous addition to your diet. Instead of sweet drinks, sip on water throughout the day, or regular unsweetened tea if you crave something with flavor. Remember to carry a bottle of water all day to stay hydrated and help manage cravings for sweet drinks. Many of our patients choose sparkling water, which seems to be everywhere these days, as a healthy substitute.
While these tips are helpful rules of thumb, you should consult with your physician or oncologist for more information about the role your diet plays in your holistic cancer treatment program. You can learn more about the role of diet in our e-book, available here for free download. In the e-book, you’ll find more helpful information about living a preventive lifestyle and treating the disease safely and effectively.