Keto Diet and Lung Cancer
I’ve recently embarked on introducing a keto diet into my life. The word diet for cancer patients usually isn’t a good thing as most do not have an appetite and sometimes are trying to get anything down. In my research, I’ve learned that a ketogenic diet and cancer has actually been proven to have some very good outcomes. Now, a keto diet isn’t going to cure any of us, but this way of eating definitely has some benefits. I am going to explain and share my experiences in eating this way and my new lifestyle.
What is the keto diet?
A keto diet is a high fat, low carb diet. It’s about eating from the right food groups and not starving yourself. You learn to replace ingredients instead of eliminating them. There are so many advantages to this type of eating to include my favorite -- more energy and more clarity. Ketosis requires the body to burn stored fat for fuel, which can also mean weight loss; therefore if you are on a mission to gain weight, this might not be an ideal option for you.
Keto is merely eating healthy fats like nuts, nut butter, avocado, using oils like coconut and olive, creams and cheese, take in plenty of electrolytes, track macros, lots of veggies and high fiber, and ultimately feel great. Maintaining blood sugar levels is definitely helpful for overall health for anyone.
The keto diet works for me
I have found when I deviate from this plan that I begin to feel sluggish, without energy and my body literally aches from the inflammation that I have ingested from carbs and sugar. I have flip-flopped back and forth purposefully and feeling bad just isn’t worth the donut or the big bowl of macaroni and cheese. It’s just not worth it to me.
When I travel, I try to stay on the path. I pack healthy snacks such as cheeses, hard salami, pork rinds when I need a salty crunch, any type of berry such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. When I feel the need to snack, I don’t grab at just anything, but I am prepared.
Can I continue to enjoy foods?
The simple answer is YES!
Keto doesn’t mean deprivation. I still enjoy treats as I did before. I just use things like almond flour instead of white flour. I use sweeteners like Swerve instead of refined sugars. I have found a new way of eating and it has actually been fun. The way that I feel has been amazing also. My energy levels have increased. My mental clarity is better.
Guidance with the keto diet with cancer
In the book Keto for Cancer; Ketogenic Metabolic Therapy as a Targeted Nutritional Strategy author Miriam Kalamian talks about how cancer patients can benefit from this kind of eating plan because not eating the heavy starches, carbs and sugars serves as an inhibitor to the growth and spreading of cancer cells.
She also goes into great detail as to why diet matters. She mentions that doctors will often tell you to eat what you want, but that isn’t always the best advice. She even goes further to say many oncologists won’t visit the diet discussion with you and will drop the topic at hand. She and her family learned from personal experience when her own son developed a brain tumor and passed at the age of 13. I am not affiliated with this author or publisher; I am merely a reader and found great interest in this book.
Newfound way of cooking
Finding a new way of cooking and preparing food has been fun for me. The Internet is loaded with tons and tons of recipes. Many restaurants also have keto-friendly foods when eating out. You can simply order more broccoli or asparagus instead of the additional side of loaded mashed potatoes. I have found that my body craves the lean proteins and clean foods now. As I stated before when I deviate, the ailments begin to include fatigue, headaches, GI flares, and the list goes on.
Always get your doctor's approval
My doctor wasn’t concerned about me embarking on this new nutritional endeavor. I have gained quite a bit of weight on this journey; therefore, I can afford to lose a bit. He agreed that there are benefits to this type of eating. Before you embark on a new diet, however, you should definitely consult with your doctor to discuss your individual situation. Every cancer story is different just like our bodies are all different and require different things. For me, this is working.
Simple, easy keto-friendly recipes
Below are a couple of easy recipes that are absolutely delicious and super easy.
Ground Beef Casserole
1 lb Ground beef
½ tsp Garlic powder
2 cans Green beans
½ cup Beef broth
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Salt
¾ cup Cheddar cheese
3 oz Cream cheese
½ cup Heavy whipping cream
¾ cup Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brown ground beef in a cast-iron skillet then drain the excess grease.
- Add cream cheese and stir until melted then add beef broth, heavy whipping cream, garlic powder, and salt/pepper.
- Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat until mixture begins to thicken then reduce heat and simmer.
- Once the ground beef mixture thickens add the two cans of green beans that have been drained on top then sprinkle cheese on top of green beans.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 cups of fine ground almond flour
¾ cup of Swerve brown sugar
¼ tsp of salt
½ tsp of baking soda
½ cup of butter
¼ cup of coconut oil
1 tbs of Vanilla
1 ½ cups of Lily’s chocolate chips (sugar-free)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack.
This recipe was provided to me by April Sylvia, Nurse Practitioner and friend.
Do you find that staying zen through your lung cancer diagnosis has helped you in your journey?