It is always delightful to read an article that is confirming common sense. This one, from Nutrition and Cancer, reminds us that there is no such thing as a "miracle food". Food and diet are frequent topics of conversation in my office--usually clustered around two general themes: what should I eat during treatment and what can I eat to lower the risk of recurrence and stay healthy? The first question has a short tongue-in-cheek-but-true answer: "whatever you want, whatever sounds good." The only food rule during treatment is to eat enough protein as both chemotherapy and radiation kill healthy cells, and our bodies need the protein to rebuild. Beyond that adage, it is all about personal comfort food and what slides down when you may not be feeling so well. Some women eat ice cream, some love soup, others crave spicy foods. There is a general preference for carbs, and there is an old joke about the ideal meal during chemo being mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and white bread.
The what should I eat to stay healthy, the quest for an anti-cancer diet, is much harder to answer. Again, the real answer is short: the same guidelines apply that are relevant to any healthy diet. This means, as we all know, lots f fruits and vegetables, whole grains, not so much red meat, few if any processed foods. However, and this is a very big however, what you eat or don't eat will not make the cancer come back or keep it away. Yes, I know, there are a zillion books and articles out there promising otherwise, and their authors make money because we all wish it were true. If we knew that we would never face a recurrence as long as we eat blue berries and broccoli every day, you can be sure we all would be doing so.
Should we eat organic? Probably yes, when we can afford it, and when it makes sense. But as long as you wash the fruit before eating it, it is much more important to eat the apple than to bypass it because the organic ones cost too much. Again, eating organic or eating vegan or anything any particular diet is no guarantee of good health. Unfortunately.
Here is the beginning and a link:
Reality Check: There is No Such Thing as a Miracle Food
Arecent episode of the Dr. Oz Showsuggested endive, red onion,
and sea bass as foods that can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer
by up to 75%. However, the scientific evidence supporting these
recommendations is limited. This commentary discusses some of
the concerns related to the promotion of “miracle foods” by themedia.
Nutritional scientists and epidemiologists should be cognizant
of the public health messages that are taken from their individual
studies and not sensationalize the findings of a single study.