A Diet High In Animal Products And Hydrogenated Vegetable Food and Cancer

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Food and Cancer

The American Institute for Cancer Research has estimated that between 30% to 40% of cancers could be prevented using dietary strategies. The same findings were issued by a panel of experts in 1999 at the World Cancer Research Fund.

Although this knowledge had been recognized for more than 6 years, this important health information has not been actively addressed by governments throughout the world. Medical doctors and hospitals seem to know nothing or little about the effects of food on cancer care or prevention.

Nowadays, many people (in developed countries) consume unhealthy diets – too high in fats (and often the worst types of fats), and too low in fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, this trend is also seen in many developing countries, in their quest to emulate the developed countries. Once a person had been diagnosed with cancer, diet becomes very important. This is because diet and nutrition will determine the progress and direction of the healing process.

At our CA Care centres in Malaysia, we dedicate much of our time teaching patients and care givers about diet and nutrition. We realize the limits and constraints of clinical research that is being done on food

nutrition. But, patients who incorporate dietary changes as recommended fared very well. At the same time, they feel empowered knowing that they are active participants in their own health.

After more than a decade of experience with cancer patients, we can confidently say that nutrition and diet play a major role in the care and healing of cancer patients. CA Care advocates the following diet:

1. Plenty of fresh vegetables (especially the cruciferous), either raw or cooked.

Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, besides providing the dietary fibres necessary for good health. Vegetables also provide amino acids (basic units of protein) and thus is the building blocks for the cells of our body. Since there are a wide variety of vegetables to choose from, cooking with fresh vegetables provides endless opportunities for creativity and satisfaction. Always eat a variety of vegetable to ensure that you have all the combinations of essential amino acids required for your body. In this way, you need not worry about vegetables being incomplete proteins.

Frequently, cancer patients come to us and say emphatically state that they are eating organic vegetables and fruits. They sound like the word ‘organic’ is a “sort of” magic bullet to all their problems. Allow us to caution you with this assumption. Of course if you have money to spare, by all means eat food grown organically. But let us stress that it must be really organic. There may be people who will take advantage by selling you their products at exorbitant prices and passing everything off as organic whereas in reality they are not. They may simply buy these products from someone else or contract out their production to someone who may or may not grow the products they way organic crops are to be grown.

To us, the main concern about farm produce is the presence or usage of pesticides. That the produce has to be pesticide-free is of paramount importance. These pesticides are poisons and they not only kill the insects and worms on crops but also harm you and me, the consumers. There is no doubt whatsoever that the presence of pesticides in food is one of the major reasons why cancer is so rampant nowadays.

2. Lots of fresh juices and fruits.

Taking juices is considered the way to good health. While vegetables are for body building, fruits are for cleansing the body. Fruit and vegetable juices contain live, organic elements such as minerals, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes etc., that are very necessary for life.

By drinking juices, we are actually helping our body to absorb the nutrients from the juice we take more easily. The work load on the digestive system to mechanically separate the solids from the nutrients is lessened. This is important for cancer patients who may suffer from poor digestion. Secondly, if you eat fruits and vegetable, how much can you chew at one sitting. A glass of carrot juice contains at least 3 to 4 sticks of carrots. Thirdly, the nutrients from the juices are absorbed into the bloodstream within half an hour.

Buy a good juicer and make your own juice. Drink the juice immediately after extraction. Do not keep it in the refrigerator for later consumption. It will get oxidized. You want to get all the fresh enzymes into your body as soon as possible. Drink a variety of juices to ensure that you get a wide spectrum of nutrients.

3. Whole grains, cereals, seeds and nuts in as unprocessed a form as possible.

Whole grain cereals provide vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, proteins and fibres. ‘Whole grain’ means the entire cereal grain which consists of three layers: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm (mainly starch). Most of the grains we consume today are refined in that the bran and germ have been removed. The resultant grain looks clean, polished and white but almost 80% of its flavours and nutrients have been lost. Refining is done mainly because the grains can be kept longer and more easily because their “living components” have been stripped off.

Among the grain, unpolished rice is the best for consumption among cancer patients as it is gluten free. Rice can also be prepared in many ways and is often taken with non-meat based dishes. Gluten in wheat can sometimes poses problems for patients with edema besides those who are allergic to gluten. Oats do have some gluten, though less than that in wheat.

Seeds, nuts and beans contain a great amount of nutrients and energy in them. They are therefore nutritious food. Seeds and nuts have a high content of oils, hence digestion may be difficult if they are consumed in quantity. Beans generally complement the vegetables and grains in terms of “getting all essential amino acids” in the diet for those who do not consume fish.

4. Avoid meat and dairy products.

Meat

The consumption of animal protein is said to be the main cause of chronic diseases. Apart from this possibility, animal protein may be contaminated with chemicals, such as hormones and antibiotics, which are used in animal feed. These are detrimental to health.

According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University, in his book: The China Study, there is a strong correlation between dietary protein (milk and meat) intake and cancers of the breast, prostate, pancreas and colon. Studies have shown that rats fed on animal protein grew faster but they all died soon. In addition, they suffered from a multitude of diseases while those on a vegetarian diet did not.

However, many of us are brought up with the notion that without meat, our body will not have enough nutrients for proper growth. Ingrained into us is the idea that “no meat in the diet means having no strength”. So, we say this to cancer patients: “Take a look at the cows, horses and elephants. Do they eat meat?”

Another frequent asked question: “Without meat, where do we get the adequate proteins for the body?” The answer is obvious — from the grains, beans, buts, seeds and vegetables. What we need is amino acids. Our body makes the protein we need.

As a matter of fact, the cancer patients who followed our CA Care diet told us they feel better, have more energy and are more alert after switching from a meat-base to a vegetarian-fruit-base diet.

Milk

The human being is unique. It is the only animal species on this planet that drinks the milk of another animal species. In addition it is the only animal species that keeps drinking milk even after being weaned from the mother.

Cow’s milk is meant for calves. Its composition is different from human milk. There are three hundred times more casein in cow’s milk than in human milk.

There is a colossal amount of information linking the consumption of dairy products to chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis, migraines, asthma, osteoporosis out there that readers can find easily. With regards to the idea of “drink milk to for calcium”, let me ask this question: “Do cows (from which dairy milk is obtained,) drink milk to get their calcium?”

5. Avoid refined table salt, white sugar and cooking oil with trans-fat.

Salt

Salt is essential for health. With inadequate sodium, you may lose weight, suffer nausea, giddiness, muscle cramps and general weakness. There is no direct evidence that associate sodium chloride with cancer. But there are several reasons why cancer patients should abstain from taking salt.

According to literature, our body needs less than 500mg of salt per day to stay healthy. An average European consumes 10 to 50 grams of salt per day, that is, 20 to 100 times the body’s daily requirement. Consider this overload on the body.

Extremely high temperatures (up to 1500 degrees Celsius) are used in the commercial production of salt. In the process, chemicals such as anti-caking agents and crystal modifiers, like sodium ferrocyanide and green ferric ammonium citrate, are added. These coat the salt crystals and prevent them from absorbing moisture besides making the salt flow freely. Iodized salt, on the other hand, contains potassium iodide, dextrose to stabilize the iodine and sodium carbonate to stop the mixture from turning purple. In addition to additives, commercial table salt is unnecessarily and excessively refined like white flour. They are devoid of the natural balance of elements found in natural sea salt, spring salt, and other sources of natural salt.

Salt causes the body tissues to retain fluids, but cancerous tissues are already full of fluids. By feeding salt to the cancerous tissues, the patient is not helping the body in the healing process.

Sugar

There is sugar in virtually all food. Fabien Perucca & Gerard Pouradier (in The Rubbish on Our Plates) wrote this: ‘Inscribed in gold on the front page of the sugar industry’s instruction manual is this motto: If it is edible, there should be sugar in it, if there isn’t, put some in it.’

Indeed, there is not one snack, sausage or a packet of sauce that does not contain sugar in it. No wonder people in the world today are facing the problem of excessive sugar intake that eventually leads to various chronic diseases.

Sugar is an empty food. As a result, consumption of refined sugar can lead to malnutrition. The body needs to draw the vitamins and minerals from other sources in order to cope with the intake of pure sucrose.

Sugar can decrease or paralyses the body’s immune system. It is estimated that the ability of the white blood cells to fight off infection drops by 92% for about four hours after a person takes a bottle of soft drink. Imagine what happens to the body’s immune system of a cancer patient who keeps taking food with sugar throughout the day. We know how weak the immune system of a cancer patient is.

Processed and Refined Oils

Of all the food that we consume, none is as severely processed and converted to poisonous substances as fats and oils. In the olden days, oils are extracted by very simple methods which did not produce toxic by-products. Since oils are perishable, they have to be kept in light-insulated containers. However, with commercialization, engineers have developed sophisticated refining processes that virtually strip and destroy all life sustaining nutrients present in oils. These are the types that sit on the supermarket shelves for months or years without going rancid.

The refining process subjects oils to de-gumming, deodorization, winterizing, bleaching and alkali refining. As a result, refined, commercial vegetable oils may contain the following:

Poisonous trans-fatty acids

Hydrogenated fats

Free radicals

Rancid fats due to the presence of light and oxygen

Solvent and pesticide residues

6. Avoid all preserved, canned or processed food.

As it is, natural food is contaminated with pesticides, hormones and loads of other chemicals used in farming and animal husbandry. Can you imagine what else is added to processed food besides stripping them of “living parts”? In addition, now there are more and more evidence that shows that the packaging materials used in food could be carcinogenic.

There are about 3,000 chemicals that are added to the food we eat. They are used as food preservatives, colourings, flavourings, stabilizers, emulsifiers, sweeteners, etc. These are on top of the sugar, salt and trans-fat which are the “essential ingredients” in processed food.

Recommended reading: Food Politics by Marion Nestle and Poison on a Plate by Professor Richard Lacey.

In spite our emphasis on good nutrition and diet at CA Care, we believe that diet itself cannot heal cancer as much as drugs alone cannot cure it. There are other aspects besides the physical body that need to be addressed. The body, mind and soul are equally important when we help in the healing of cancer.

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