When you go on a low-carb diet, you're usually trying to do one of two things. Either you want to lose weight. Or you want to lower your blood sugar.
But there's a third reason why you should cut back on carbs. And this is something you never hear people talk about...not even doctors. But it could save your life.
A new study found a clear link between carbohydrates and one deadly disease that targets 12 million Americans each year. (The study is as legit as they come. Of course, the mainstream press ignored it. They'd rather talk about blockbuster drugs. Good nutrition just isn't sexy.)
For this study, 70 percent of the mice fed a typical Western diet with 55 percent of calories coming from carbs died before reaching maturity. They all developed the same killer disease.
Yes, the study involved mice. But researchers firmly believe the same principles apply to human subjects. And I agree.
You see, this killer disease thrives on sugar. It needs sugar. And what do carbohydrates turn into once they hit your blood stream?
You got it: Sugar.
But once you cut out the sugar and starches, you cut your disease risk.
Piecing the puzzle together
There's a reason why so many of us in the West develop cancer. It has to do with our diets. It contains too many carbs with too much sugar. You see, research shows that cancer cells need more glucose compared to normal cells. They depend on it for energy.
A low-carb diet forces the normal cells in your body to use fat for fuel, instead of carbs. Cancer cells can't do this. They need glucose to grow. So when you limit carbs, you cut off the glucose. This limits the fuel supply to the tumors.
Plus, by limiting carbs, you reduce your body's insulin levels. This too is a good thing. Insulin is a hormone that promotes tumor growth in both humans and mice. Numerous independent studies confirm this.
That's why every oncologist in the country should tell their patients to cut back on the carbs and the sugar.
But they don't.
They hand you a chemo calendar. They write you a prescription for anti-nausea medication and send you on your way. (They will tell you to avoid taking vitamins during chemo, though. This might interfere with how your body responds to chemo.)
The American Cancer Society is even worse at giving advice. Keep reading to learn how following their dietary tips could get you into serious trouble.
High-carb = high cancer rates in mice
For the latest study, researchers from the renowned British Columbia Cancer Research Centre implanted mice with cancerous cells. Then, they assigned half the mice a typical Western diet. This means the mice got about 55 percent of their calories from carbs. About 25 percent came from protein and 22 percent came from fat.
The other group of mice followed a diet similar to the South Beach diet. About 15 percent of the calories they got came from carbs. About 58 percent came from protein and 26 percent from fat.
Now, remember all these mice had cancer cells growing in their bodies to start. But the tumors grew consistently slower in the South Beach diet group. Remember, glucose = cancer fuel.
In addition, some of the mice had a genetic predisposition to develop cancer. The researchers made a sub-group out of these mice.
Almost half of the predisposed mice on the Western diet developed cancer within the first year of their life. On the other hand, none of the mice on the South Beach diet developed cancer within their first year. And remember, these mice were also predisposed to develop cancer. But they didn't when given a low-carb diet.
And that's not all...
Only one mouse on the Western diet reached a normal lifespan. The rest of the mice died prematurely. And 70 percent of them died of cancer.
On the other hand, only 30 percent of the predisposed mice given the low-carb diet developed cancer. Plus, more than half of them either reached or exceeded the typical lifespan for a mouse. Lastly, all the South Beach mice had lower blood sugar and insulin levels compared to the other mice.
The researchers say we can apply these results to humans. According to lead researcher Gerald Krystal, PhD, "This shows that something as simple as a change in diet can have an impact on cancer risk."
Sending the wrong message
If sugar is clearly so bad in the fight against cancer, how come we don't hear more about it?
That got me thinking...
What does the American Cancer Society have to say about carbs? I searched "carbohydrates" on their web site to see what I would turn up.
I brought me to a special report called: "Nutrition for the Person with Cancer During Treatment: A Guide for Patients and Families."
Okay, good start. Let's see what it had to say.
I skimmed the article quickly looking for something that told you cancer cells feed off glucose. Again, this is a proven scientific fact. Numerous independent studies prove it. But apparently, the American Cancer Society doesn't think this information is pertinent enough to include in a nutrition brochure for cancer patients.
Oh well. I guess I didn't really expect them to be so forthright. However, I did expect to see some better suggestions than this...
Under, "nutritious snacks" at www.cancer.org, you will find these suggestions:
- Egg Nog (pasteurized)
- Ice Cream
Since when is ice-cream a "nutritious snack" for anybody, much less someone taking on the fight of his or her life? Not only are these snacks laughably un-nutritious...they will very likely fuel any cancer cells growing in your body. Remember, glucose = cancer fuel!
I wish I were making this stuff up.
Apparently, the good folks at the American Cancer Society are more concerned about selling bumper stickers than saving lives. I, on the other hand, would like to save a life and skip the pink sweatbands on NFL linebackers.
If you're serious about preventing or conquering cancer, cut out the "nutritious" ice-cream snacks. Instead, keep your carbs down and your protein up.
Now, I'm not giving you a free pass to eat all the bacon you want. The type of protein you choose does matter. Skip the bacon and other cured meats. Instead, go for organic red meat two to three times a week. The other nights of the week, go for fish or fowl.
And when you do choose carbs, make sure they are complex carbs like short-grain brown rice or barley. Your body takes longer to digest these carbs. So your body releases the glucose nice and slow into your blood stream.
Dr. Spreen is a nationally acclaimed as America’s “Nutrition Physician,” and has been helping people stay healthy and disease-free as a private doctor, published author, and noted researcher.