Plant-based Diets vs. Keto to Prevent Cancer: Which One Wins?

Memorial Sloane Kettering, the Largest and Oldest Private Cancer Center in the World Located in New York, Medical Oncologists Drs. Urvi Shah and Neil Iyengar Found that One of These Diets is Better for Reducing Cancer Risk


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Plant-based Diets vs. Keto to Prevent Cancer


I chose this interesting review article mainly for two reasons. I have worked, as a researcher involved in many collaborative projects, in this hospital which is considered "The Temple of Cancer Study and Treatment" and I personally think that their publications are very reliable. Secondly, this article clearly answers a very important question, that I have been asked many times: which is the best diet to prevent cancer?





What to expect?


The article summarise the following topics as a Q&A:


Why did you focus on plant-based and keto diets?

What is a keto diet?

What is a plant-based diet?

What’s the difference between plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan diets?

Which diet did your review find was better at reducing the risk of cancer — a plant-based diet or keto?

Which diet was better during treatment?

Which diet was better for healthy living after treatment?


What do I agree with?


I definitely agree with the doctors that the ketogenic diet only works on certain types of cancer (see also my previous blogs below) and certainly, in the long run, it is not a healthy option when it comes to preventing cancer.

Very often my cancer patients come to me with the belief that "sugar can fuel cancer" and think that eliminating sugar completely stops the growth. It's not that easy, firstly most of my patients who have claimed to be on keto actually eat fruit out of the plan, and secondly, cancer can use alternative biochemical pathways.


Dr. Shah: Many diets that claim to be ketogenic are actually just low-carb, however. They don’t really force the body into the state of ketosis, where the body breaks down protein and fat for energy. That can make it challenging to compare keto-style diets for their beneficial effects, since they vary quite a bit.

Dr. Iyengar: For some cancers — including breast cancer — it’s also important to note that higher fat consumption has been associated with poorer long-term outcomes. And some diets claiming to be keto allow for fats from highly processed foods, which isn’t great. There are many so-called keto foods available at grocery stores, but some could actually be harmful if the fat content is higher than it should be.




In the end the plant base diet wins over Keto. Research also shows that broad dietary patterns that people can stick to — like a plant-based diet — are generally better in the long-term than highly specific interventions like keto diets.


Dr. Shah: Our review of the evidence supports a plant-based diet for reducing cancer risk compared with a ketogenic diet. That conclusion is particularly apparent when you look at big populations, such as three large studies conducted in the U.S., U.K., and France. All three found that people eating more plants and less animal protein had less cancer overall. That’s consistent with other large studies and included in the guidelines by the American Institute of Cancer Research and American Cancer Society, which all recommend diets that incorporate high amounts of plant-based food.


Dr. Iyengar: There are many biologic processes in the body that are impacted by diet and energy balance in general. Many of these processes are involved in the growth of cancer, such as obesity and inflammation, hormones, insulin, the microbiome, and more. We examine several of these processes in our review. The bottom line for people looking to reduce their risk of cancer is that the current evidence supports a plant-based diet over a keto diet.


To the question "Which diet was better during treatment?" .

Dr. Iyengar: Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that a specific diet by itself can treat cancer. There is preliminary evidence to suggest that certain dietary patterns can help make some cancer treatments work better or reduce side effects. For instance, studies have shown that plant-based diets can help with some of the gastrointestinal toxicity from chemotherapy and joint pain from hormonal treatments for breast cancer. There is also some evidence that the keto diet could reduce certain side effects, such as high blood sugar levels, from specific cancer treatments.

Please if you want to read more about Keto during Chemotherapy please read my blog by cliccking below