The title of this topic is a summary in itself of some of the things I’ve been learning about recently in regards to different diets.
The first two topics were probably something along the lines of ‘how fasting can help to cure cancer’, and in a separate topic, ‘how sugar feeds cancer’.
By these two things alone we can perhaps understand how fasting in itself works in such a situation because if indeed sugar does fuel cancer then by cutting out all food – by fasting – we starve the cancer – we also starve ourselves but it is hoped that the cancer dies before we do. If not, then we have to go in for another round.
In a third topic that I learned about, probably a year ago now, was how high doses of Vitamin C can be used to fight off cancer, but this is not without its criticisms. The main argument against this practice is that the Vitamin C that is available in supplement/pill form is only one part of the Vitamin C complex (there are something like four main ones as I understand it) and by ingesting high quantities of only one part you put the rest out of balance. The whole point of taking Vitamin C in supplement form is due to the claim that we can’t gain enough Vitamin C from the fruit and vegetables we might consume, even if eating vast quantities of fruit and vegetables.
It seems like generally good advice to consume a healthy diet, and perhaps a plant-based one at that in order to avoid cancer in the first place, in addition to leading a healthy lifestyle in general, but when someone is faced with a life-threatening illness such as cancer, switching to a “super healthy” diet, such as including quantities of so-called “super-foods” (and by it’s very deemed definition a plant-based one at that) might well be a warranted reaction to such news. But is it?
One of the recent things I have heard regarding these topics is that, while we know fruit is generally high in sugar (albeit what we might term “healthy sugar” as I have always understood it, but have recently had my understanding skewed) many of our commonly grown and supplied fruits are sweeter now than they used to be. Just like the animals we breed, “we” choose the traits “we” want; in the meat we consume it might be the more fatty animals that are preferred (since a heavier animal will, I think, typically demand a higher price for its farmer/butcher/supermarket), in the days of animal wools for clothing then the woolliest of animals would be chosen, but in the case of fruits and vegetables it is surely the most sweet and voluptuous varieties that are preferred. Therefore it seems that modern-day fruits are so high in sugar that rather than being healthy for us, could be proportionately unhealthy for us in comparison to the bad refined sugars we are supposed to avoid and could actually fuel the cancers we might be trying to ward off by consuming them. Or is it simply that they taste sweeter? Either way, this puts into question the whole “sugar-swaps” campaign that have been aired in recent years here in the UK where we’re encouraged to swap an unhealthy snack, for a healthy one (cake for an apple, for example).
So what is the healthiest option? It would seem that the grass-fed and non-antibiotic-inflicted organic meat is the best way forward. Since high doses of Vitamin C is shown by some to beat cancer then the only way to combine these two things (assuming the Vitamin C content of the grass fed to those creatures we are in turn consuming isn’t high enough to pass along the food chain to our digestive systems to make a significant difference to our own levels), avoiding the Vitamin C in fruit (because, remember, fruit is now too high in sugar) and instead ignore the upset Vitamin C complex balance and down high doses of Vitamin C supplements with that healthy meat.
The most recent thing I have learned (although of course all this could change when I’m told something else) is that the consumption of vegetables doesn’t necessarily directly fuel our bodies but fuels the enzymes in our gut that need to be there in order to digest our food (and thus extract the energy from it). Dr Berg, as he calls himself on Youtube, encourages people to cut out sugar and carbohydrates, and pursue (the holy grail that is deemed) ketosis through the consumption of copious quantities of vegetables and large salads (in addition to eating meat). This obviously “encourages” the enzymes needed for the digestion of the foods he promotes (such as fatty meat), but I’m sure there must a limit to what our gut needs and can produce, otherwise we risk filling up on plant fibre and leaving little to no appetite for energy-giving meats (another risk for those with under eating disorders which I mentioned my previous topic about food). Perhaps there is a risk of harm by consuming too much of the green stuff.
This “fuelling of enzymes” confirms my prior understanding and observation regarding those who switch from one diet to another, namely that because it takes time for the necessary enzymes to adjust/grow/increase in number, or whatever they do, one can quickly either feel good or quickly shift the weight they wanted to lose when changing a diet, or at the other extreme feel exceedingly fatigued. I believe these things are due to the “fasting effect” this change in diet causes. The person is obviously still eating but their body hasn’t properly adjusted and can’t absorb all of the nutrients/type of fat/create the energy from the new food. One can feel a pleasing “lightness” when first switching to a new healthy diet, for example. This conversion process takes time and due to this one can typically lose that initial buzz/lightness, or feel too worn out to persevere, and instead switch back – “yo-yo” between diets if you will – perhaps leading to constantly trying different things without figuring out properly what works best, as I am probably prone to doing when I learn something new about diets.
One such other Youtuber, as I have enjoyed watching, and I have been thinking of while I ponder and write this topic, is Kasey of Vegetable Police. Earlier this year he switched from a vegan diet to a carnivore one in seeking for the right diet for him. In addition to this I myself have been seeking out a feeling of less fatigue which seems to shadow me in sweeping cycles, which, no pun intended, is surely partly/mostly/none of the above caused by my time spent cycling, which is up and down in both demand and the fact that there are hills where I live.
The depressing thing about all of this diet stuff is seeing people on what I consider (and by definition) are unhealthy diets, seemingly being happy and lively while I wonder if the very pursuit of the right diet, or a better one, can actually lead to one feeling worse than just giving in and eating… cake… Mmmm cake. Other people might be on what is deemed to be a high sugar/high carb diet, feel great, be full of energy, and yet perhaps be debunked by all of the above and thus living on borrowed time while their blood-sugar trails the red-line day-in-day-out.
Over recent months I have lowered my carb-intake; I used to consume a bowl or two of porridge a day, and have potato/pasta/rice with every meal. Instead I have a couple of eggs for breakfast and focus more on fats and proteins. In the past I was lead to believe “carb-loading” was necessary for cycling, especially for longer rides, but I can quite comfortably (if not more so) be out all day, cycling perhaps 30, 40, 50 miles visiting clients or whatever and not “crash”. I would previously carb-load through a fear of not having enough energy the next day, perhaps leading to a level of stress on my body which lead to fatigue. Because I still like bread and toast and don’t want to give them up I will happily keep including them with my lunch; I still enjoy using my bread machine too.
Title image c/o www.freepik.com