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5 Reasons Food Matters

5 Reasons Food Matters in Cancer Treatment and Survivorship REASON NO 4 For many cancers, diet can have a direct anti-cancer effect. l Many solid-tumors use blood sugar (glucose) at a much higher rate than normal cells, and are less able to use other types of fuel (like ketone bodies that are derived from fat). l The ketogenic diet is a promising new dietary strategy for treating cancer. It is a diet designed to lower blood sugar and increase other fuels like ketone bodies and thus suppress the growth of tumors. 4 l Patients greatly restrict refined and starchy carbohydrates and greatly increase dietary fat like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados and butter. l For more information on this diet please see our Quick Guide to the Ketogenic Diet at www.maxloveproject.org. REASON NO 5 Oncologists don’t treat late effects. Real food can help. l Childhood cancer survivors are at a much greater risk for diabetes, obesity, and malnutrition. 5 l If children start on a healthy diet while in treatment, their risks will likely decrease. l If our goal as parents is for our children to not only survive, but thrive, nutrition needs to be a major part of their treatment. 4 MAXLOVE PROJECT | Fierce Foods: A Guide for Families & Their SuperKids

FIERCE FOODS FOOD FIGHTS Controversies Over Nutrition, Health, and Cancer It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the information and competing nutritional dogmas out there. As busy and stressed parents, we’re inclined to just tune it all out. What we want to do is simplify the conversation by clearly addressing the main points of conflict. Our goal is not to settle these debates but rather to help families find their own best answers. 1 Does Sugar Cause or Promote Cancer? Sugar does not independently cause cancer but it might promote it. By sugar we mean any carbohydrate that our bodies can convert into blood sugar (also known as glucose) for example, table sugar, flour, starches, honey, syrup, etc. Here are the ways that sugar might promote cancer: Most solid tumor cancer cells consume glucose up to 100 times faster than normal cells. This is what makes PET scans possible. They also need glucose to survive whereas most normal cells can switch to using a byproduct of fat called ketone bodies. This is what the ketogenic diet is designed to do: get the body to produce ketones as a supplemental fuel. This diet is now in almost a dozen clinical trials for cancer patients. In less serious situations, there might not be a need to go on a ketogenic diet; but recent research suggests that simply limiting the amount of glucose circulating in the blood stream can have a positive effect in long-term outcomes and overall health. 4 When glucose enters our blood stream our bodies need to produce insulin and insulin-like growth factors in order to process it into energy. When there is a large amount of these and when they fluctuate wildly, as when we eat a lot of sugar and highly-refined carbs at once, a pro-inflammatory environment is created in our bodies. Over time and in conjunction with other dietary, genetic, and environmental factors, this can provide a favorable environment for cancer. 6 Finally, high blood sugar is connected to many non-cancer diseases like diabetes and obesity, which raise the risk of developing cancer or cancer recurrence. www.maxloveproject.org Fierce Foods: A Guide for Families & Their SuperKids | MAXLOVE PROJECT 5

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